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SC Verdict on Art. 370: Political Parties Spar with J&K Admin Over Curbs on Leaders

Anees Zargar |
Parties also alleged that police personnel did not allow movement of media professionals on the Srinagar’s Gupkar Road where many of these leaders reside.
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Srinagar: The mainstream political leadership in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday sparred with the authorities in Jammu and Kashmir after the party leaders said that they were restricted within their residences in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict on abrogation of Article 370.

Several leaders, including Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, two former Chief Ministers of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, said they were barred from leaving their residences following which the police and the Lt Governor administration refuted the claims terming them “baseless”. 

The parties also alleged that the police personnel did not allow the movement of media professionals on the Srinagar’s Gupkar road where many of these leaders reside.

“I am not permitted to move out of my residence. Media visits are prohibited. An armoured vehicle remains stationed outside my residence,” Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader M Y Tarigami wrote on X.

Similarly, a spokesperson of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said that their party president Mufti has been restricted within her residence following which she released a video message expressing her disappointment to the verdict pronounced by the Supreme Court.

“Even before Supreme Court judgement is pronounced, Police has sealed the doors of the residence of PDP President Mehbooba Mufti and put her under illegal house arrest,” the party said.

LG Manoj Sinha, however, termed these claims as “baseless”, clarifying, no one has been put under house arrest or arrested due to political reasons in J&K.

"These claims are entirely without merit. No individual in J&K has been placed under house arrest or detained for political motives. Such assertions aim to propagate false information," he said during a presser in the winter capital Jammu.

The claims were also refuted by the Jammu and Kashmir Police, who issued a clarification that police have no orders to effect any kind of arrest, and certainly not connected with court proceedings including on Article 370 by the apex court.

“There are no restrictions on any movement...Common man’s normal life continues at its usual pace and police though alert about attempts of the handful always eager to disrupt peace, has no intention or instructions to curtail this freedom of movement and activities,” the police said in a statement whilst urging the public not get hassled or intimidated by social media posts contrary to this.

But despite refutation, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah slammed the authorities whilst responding to the statement of LG Sinha. He said that the main gate of his residence was closed by a chain.

“Why are you denying what your police force has done. It’s also possible you don’t even know what your police is doing? Which one is it? Are you being dishonest or is your police acting independent of you?” Abdullah wrote on X.

The political leadership in the region expressed disappointment over the verdict of the Supreme Court to uphold the order of abrogation of Article 370 taken on August 5, 2019. 

Meanwhile, PDP has suspended all of its political activities for the next one week in order to stand in solidarity with the people in the wake of the judgment. 

“The party president Mehbooba Mufti was scheduled to address various workers conventions as part of her ongoing public outreach programme and many such conventions were scheduled over next few days. But in order to stand in solidarity with our people at this crucial juncture in the wake of the Supreme Court Of India’s Verdict on the issue of Article 370, We have decided to cancel all our political activities for next one week,” party spokesperson Syed Suhail Bukhari said in a statement.

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