Srinagar | Jagran News Desk: Jammu and Kashmir political leaders including three former Chief Ministers of the erstwhile state were on Saturday detained by the police ahead of their protest march organised by the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) against the recommendations of the Delimitation Commission. Kashmir leaders including NC Chief Farooque Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti were among the leaders who were detained by the administration.

Lashing out at the detention of the leaders, National Conference (NC) Vice-President and former CM of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah tweeted, "Good morning and welcome to 2022. A new year with the same JK police illegally locking people in their homes and an administration so terrified of normal democratic activity. Trucks parked outside our gates to scuttle the peaceful @JKPAGD sit-in protest. Some things never change," he said.

Abdullah, whose father and veteran politician Farooq Abdullah heads the PAGD, claimed, "Talk about a lawless police state, the police have even locked the internal gate connecting my father's home to my sister's. Yet our leaders have the cheek to tell the world that India is the largest democracy, hah!!"

Senior CPI (M) leader M Y Tarigami, who is the spokesperson of the alliance, said it was sad that the Jammu and Kashmir administration was "scared even to allow a peaceful protest". "This is where the situation gets worse when people are not even allowed to express their opinion before the public," he added.

Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had also been placed under detention. "A truck is parked outside my house too," she added.

Meanwhile, Congress' Jammu and Kashmir chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir on Saturday said the "house arrest" of National Conference president Farooq Abdullah was unethical and undemocratic.

"Keeping under house arrest prominent leader like Dr. Farooq Abdullah ahead of proposed sit-in protest against Delimitation Commission draft is a sham, unethical and against the basic foundation of the Indian democracy which stands guarantee to freedom of speech and freedom of expression to every citizen," Mir said in a statement.

He said the "house arrest" was indeed a "gift" on the New Year's occasion by the government and condemned the "illegal house arrest" of Abdullah and other leaders of the PAGD. The Congress believes such an "undemocratic move" (detention of leaders) is bound to "further disappoint" the people of Jammu and Kashmir, "who have already lost faith" in the present dispensation, Mir said.

The PAGD had proposed to hold a peaceful demonstration in Srinagar on Saturday against the proposal of the Delimitation Commission of increasing six seats in the Jammu division and one in Kashmir. With this, the number of seats in Jammu would have gone up to 43 and Kashmir to 47.


(With Agency Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan