Kashmir: PDP meeting foiled, party leaders stopped from leaving homes

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Written by Bashaarat Masood , Naveed Iqbal | Srinagar | Published: September 3, 2020 1:13:43 pm

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti. Most of the PDP leaders are under house detention

The J&K administration on Thursday prevented the first official meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5 last year. Hours before the scheduled meeting, police informed senior PDP leaders that they were not allowed to move out of their houses.

“We have not been allowed to meet. The (party) leaders weren’t allowed to move out of their houses. I was not allowed to move out. We have cancelled the meeting,” PDP’s General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone, who had convened the meeting, told The Indian Express.

Several PDP leaders released several videos showing policemen not allowing them to leave their houses. In one video, the cops can be heard saying they “don’t have the permission” to let the leaders move out of their houses.

Even though the meeting was planned indoors, 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 it. 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.

“We didn’t need permission for the meeting but we wanted to be on the safer side and took all precaution,” party youth president Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra said.

While most of the PDP leaders are under house detention, they tried to move out on Thursday for the meeting, which was scheduled at the party’s Srinagar office. The police, however, prevented the senior leaders from moving out, saying they had orders not to allow anybody outside their residences.

“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,” asked Lone. “It seems the government is afraid of us”.

While the political activities of BJP and the Centre-backed Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party were not hindered by the government after the abrogation of the special status, several meetings of National Conference, including that of its Political Affairs Committee (PAC), were allowed in the last two weeks.

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