Majid Kapra

Sajad Lone, Altaf Bukhari condemn arrest of mother-daughter duo after Rangreth encounter

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Srinagar: J&K People’s Conference president Sajad Gani Lone on Thursday condemned the arrest of the mother-daughter duo for holding protests against the security forces in Rangreth area of uptown Srinagar after an encounter.

The arrested women are residents of Wanbal Rawalpora and they have been booked under Section 147, 148 (rioting), 149 (Unlawful assembly) and 326 (Voluntary causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means). They have been lodged at Women’s Police Station, Rambagh.

The duo has been booked in the FIR number 209 registered in Police Station Sadder. The FIR had been registered on Monday evening after protests broke out in Rangreth area soon after a “chance encounter” during the day.

While condemning the police action, PC chief Sajad Lone said that “arresting two ladies for merely protesting is highly reprehensible and in violation of democratic norms”.

“It is extremely suffocating to live in a place where the government’s sword is perpetually hanging over our heads. This administration has gone berserk and is arresting people by every minute. These actions are in brazen violation of democratic and civilized norms,” he added while talking to the media of the sidelines of a party function.

He also said that government being custodian of people cannot target them for giving an interview to a TV channel.

He also claimed that the “credibility of every individual including politician and commoners went for a toss the moment centre abrogated the special status” of Jammu and Kashmir as granted under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, on August 5, 2019.

“Everything including Article 370 was snatched from us, so no one has any credibility in Jammu and Kashmir any longer,” Lone said.

On being asked about the Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari having promised free drinking water to the people in case his party wins the assembly elections, Lone said let his party prepare its manifesto for elections first.

Replying to the question on some leaders rejoining PDP, Lone said “these things are normal in any vibrant democracy; people come and go…. There was a time when people left PC — it was I think 2002 — but today people in large numbers join our party, so there is nothing wrong in joining or leaving any party.”

Meanwhile, Apni Party president Mohammad Altaf Bukhari also expressed his resentment over the arrest of a mother-daughter.

Bukhari termed the police action as “an unwarranted and uncalled for move against an incident that has put a question mark on the claims of peacebuilding process in Jammu and Kashmir”.

“These arbitrary actions are now bolstering a sense of deep alienation among the people and are counterproductive for the efforts to bring peace in Kashmir. Arresting women for raising mere slogans smacks of an intolerant and an autocratic mindset that does not gel with our country’s democratic ethos,” he said.

Bukhari demanded immediate release of the mother-daughter duo while urging the LG administration to disallow such “intemperate actions”.

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