In their first meeting after the District Development Council (DDC) elections, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Thursday sought the release of leaders taken into preventive detention by the government.
“The new trend is preventive detentions. What is the logic? The election has ended. It has been one of most peaceful elections in the last three decades. The most non-violent, peaceful elections and this should have ended up in something good. That it ends with the preventive detentions is something totally antithetical to the way elections have been held in terms of peace, in terms of lack of violence,” said Sajad Lone, spokesman of the PAGD. Lone was talking to reporters along with Dr Farooq Abdullah and other leaders of the People’s Alliance.
Calling for the release of all the leaders under preventive detention, he said: “While as traditionally in the past three decades we have seen so much of violence, one fails to understand when elections have been so peaceful why they need to arrest people. We condemn these detentions. They should be released immediately. We are here with the mandate of people.”
In his remarks, Farooq Abdullah concurred, saying all those who have been taken into the police stations should be released. “They should be released immediately if you want democracy to survive,” he said.
Dr Abdullah also sought restoration of the high-speed internet saying 4G should be restored immediately. “Our children, our students are suffering because they have to be online for everything. Our business people are suffering. The Prime Minister is talking about 5G and we don’t even have 4G. It should be restored quickly.”
The government this week took three top leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) into preventive custody. The leaders include maternal uncle of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, Sartaj Madani, PDP leader Peerzada Mansoor, senior PDP leader and former minister Naeem Akhtar.
Akhtar’s daughter Shehryar Khanum took to twitter saying, “my father @shangpa has been detained at this unearthly hour. There was no order or government instruction shown to us. We don’t know the ground of detention or the duration. Cannot relive through the horror of last year but will stand by him always.”
My father @shangpal has been detained at this unearthly hour. There was no order or govt instruction shown to us. We don’t know the ground of detention or the duration. Cannot relive through the horror of last year but will stand by him always. @MehboobaMufti @jkpdp— Shehryar Khanum (@shehryar_khanum) December 21, 2020
“Day 3 - Still detained, no order, no communication. Reached out to DC Srinagar to find out if we need to brace up for a long wait but am yet to hear back. My father is detained all alone in a 3 story cold and dingy building, with a guard at the main door,” reads her tweet.
Day 3 - Still detained, no order, no communication.Reached out to DC Srinagar to find out if we need to brace up for a long wait but am yet to hear back. My father is detained all alone in a 3 story cold and dingy building, with a guard at the main door. @shangpal @MehboobaMufti https://t.co/OaEYLeX6Gw— Shehryar Khanum (@shehryar_khanum) December 23, 2020
Lone said that the People’s Alliance leaders met to express gratitude to people of Jammu and Kashmir. “We expressed gratitude to those people who voted and even to those who didn’t vote for us. Our gratitude is to those who came in large numbers and reposed faith in democracy,” Lone said.
“Now that people of Jammu and Kashmir after so many upheaval have reposed faith in the democracy of this country, the onus lies on the administration to reciprocate and respect that faith in democracy,” he added.
“There are some disturbing reports coming about interference in people’s verdict wherein the government of the day is acting in a partisan manner and in fact becoming a participant by directly, indirectly facilitating moves by some people to attract independents towards them. I think they should resist this and not humiliate this great verdict of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Lone said, warning that history is replete with examples that those who try to humiliate the verdict of people end up in disaster. “We need to respect this verdict and show respect to the people. Under no circumstances should democracy be tinkered with and interfered with,” he added.
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