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Detained for protest against land laws, PDP leaders refuse to sign affidavit

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Srinagar: Nearly 20 PDP leaders, who were detained by police last week for taking out a protest march against the amendments to land laws, on Thursday refused to sign bonds to refrain from taking part in “unlawful anti-national activities”, the party said.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti termed it as a “dictatorial affidavit”.

Officials said 19 members of the PDP including some senior leaders who were detained on October 29 — and then released the same day — after they took out a protest march outside the party headquarters here against the amendments to the land law, appeared before an executive magistrate who asked them to sign the bonds which stated they will not indulge in any “unlawful anti-national activities”.

However, the officials said the PDP members refused to sign the undertaking, following which the magistrate fixed November 24 as the next date to hear the case.

“That we are permanent residents of the J&K UT. That a case under section 107/151 stands against us in the Hon’ble court of Tehsil office south Srinagar. That we will not indulge in any unlawful anti-national activities. That in case if we will be found again indulging in any unlawful anti-national activities then I shall be liable to face any action as per law,” the affidavit stated.

“Deepening democratic affairs in J&K. Peaceful assembly or protest has become illegal & anti national now. 19 @jkpdp members refused to sign affidavits following a peaceful protest in Srinagar,” the party said on its official Twitter handle.

Meanwhile, the PDP chief termed the affidavit as “dictatorial” and asked in which democracy was the right to peacefully protest an anti-national activity?

“In which democracy is the right to peacefully protest an ‘anti national’ activity? PDP members detained last week for attempting to peacefully protest against new land laws in J&K today refused to sign a dictatorial affidavit that terms dissent as anti national,” Mufti said in a tweet.

She said it seems India is the world’s largest democracy only on paper now.

“When will this deliberate attempt to conflate BJP with India stop? How does disagreeing with BJP’s communal & divisive actions tantamount to being an anti national or sedition? Seems like India is the world’s largest democracy only on paper now,” the PDP president said in another tweet.

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