First PDP Meeting in 13 Months Disallowed

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Freedom of political leaders is as fake as narrative of normalcy: PDP

Srinagar: Authorities Thursday barred Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders from attending a party meeting here.

PDP meeting was scheduled to be held at party headquarters on The Bund, Srinagar but hours before the scheduled meeting, police informed senior PDP leaders that they were not allowed to venture out of their houses.

Several PDP leaders including former minister Nayeem Akhtar posted videos on Twitter showing how policemen on their gates stopped them from venturing out from their houses.

Despite being free on paper and in govt submissions in HC and SC, PDP Leadership continues to be under illegal detention, without any official orders. Video from today – I wasn’t allowed to attend the PDP meeting nor were any of my colleagues. pic.twitter.com/zpguiKYEIg

— Naeem Akhtar (@shangpal) September 3, 2020

Iltija Mufti who operates the twitter handle of her mother Mehbooba Mufti tweeted that government seems afraid of PDP. “Why are we the only party that is not being allowed to meet? Why only our leaders are under house detention? Why PSA is extended only against our leader Mehbooba ji,” she tweeted.

Shameful that J&K admin along with police physically prevented PDP leaders from leaving their homes in Srinagar today.They shamelessly lie to courts that these people are free to move & then have the audacity to detain them illegally at home pic.twitter.com/hdpNGTEgC4

— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) September 3, 2020

“Shameful that J&K admin along with police physically prevented PDP leaders from leaving their homes in Srinagar today. They shamelessly lie to courts that these people are free to move & then have the audacity to detain them illegally at home,” she said in another tweet.

She said BJP and other parties are allowed to hold meetings. “But for some reason, the same freedom isn’t given to PDP. GOI’s claim of setting all political leaders in J&K free is as fake as their narrative of normalcy.”

Nayeem Akhtar too took to twitter and said: “Despite being free on paper and in govt submissions in HC and SC, PDP leadership continues to be under illegal detention, without any official orders.

Earlier, PDP had said that it’s leader Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura will convene a meeting at party headquarters in Srinagar. “Remains to be seen if J&K admin will allow leaders under illegal house arrest to attend this meeting,” party had said.

Hanjura later said that they were not allowed to meet at one place. He said like him other party leaders were not allowed to move out from their houses.

The party had written to Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, IGP Security, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, SSP Srinagar and SSP security informing them about scheduled meeting, however, party leaders said there was no response from any government quarter to their letter.

“Since only the senior leaders are participating, it won’t be a huge gathering and we would ensure that the measures and protocols with regard to Covid-19 pandemic are adhered to,” PDP had written in its letter written on September 1.

Party youth leader Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra said: “A year of unfreedom & many claims later we were told we are free now. But when we try to attend the first party meet post Aug 5 they told us we are under detention. Question now is how choking our space in the name of law & order is contributing to the so called ‘peace.”

PDP’s Foiled Meet Exposes Govt: CPI (M)

While condemning the police action to disallow PDP leaders from moving out of their houses for a party meeting CPI(M) Thursday said it has once again exposed the hollow claims of the BJP government about normalcy in Kashmir.

In a statement, CPI (M) spokesman said that it is highly astonishing that the BJP government is even afraid of allowing a political party to hold a meeting.

“For more than one year, the BJP government has been lying about normalcy in Kashmir. If that is the case then why were senior leaders of a political party placed under house arrest and not allowed to meet?” said the spokesman.

“The fact is that the only thing the revocation of Article 370 has achieved so far is a complete abrogation of democracy in J&K and an unconscionable suppression of civil and democratic rights,” he said.

“The government must release all political prisoners, including PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, without any further delay,” said CPI (M) spokesman said.

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