Will Contest Next LS Polls From Srinagar: Punjab Leader

Srinagar- Shiromani Akali Dal (A) president Simranjit Singh Mann on Monday slammed the central government over being ”denied entry” into Kashmir and said he is going to fight the 2024 Lok Sabha election from Srinagar.

The Sikh leader had moved a local court in Kathua last month after district authorities did not permit him to visit the Valley citing possible disturbance.

The member of parliament from Sangrur in Punjab had reached Kathua to appear before the chief judicial magistrate but was not allowed to move out of the hotel. However, his representatives appeared in the court which decided to hear the case on November 29.

Talking to reporters before leaving for his home state Punjab, Mann said he is an elected member of parliament and was planning to visit Kashmir to know the welfare of its people post abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories in August 2019.

”They (BJP leaders) are saying that J-K has become an integral part of India post abrogation of Article 370 but here a parliament member is not allowed to visit this part of the country and restrictions are placed on me,” he said.

Mann said he will raise the issue in parliament during its next session.

The MP said he has every right to visit any part of the country and is going to contest the next parliament elections from Srinagar in 2024.

”I will not give up my fight. If I am denied justice (by the court of CJM), then I will move the High Court and also the Supreme Court, if needed,” he said.

Earlier in October, Mann spent several nights at Lakhanpur – the gateway to J-K bordering Punjab – in protest against restrictions imposed by authorities on his entry into the Union Territory.

In his order issued under section 144 Cr P C, the deputy commission Kathua Rahul Pandey had said that it has been brought to his notice by the Senior Superintendent of Police, Kathua that Mann is scheduled to enter the Union Territory from Lakhanpur and his visit is likely to cause “disturbance in public tranquility”.

”…In exercise of the powers vested in me under section 144 Cr P C do hereby prohibit Mann from entering the jurisdiction of Kathua,” Pandey said in his order on October 17.

Mann accused the BJP-led government of harassment of the people and said he will continue his struggle for justice.

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