Politicians disallowed to meet over art-370; roads to Abdullah’s Gupkar residence sealed

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Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday foiled a crucial meeting of opposition mainstream leaders here at incumbent parliamentarian Dr. Farooq Abdullah’s Gupkar residence in Srinagar as no participant was allowed to reach senior Abdullah’s home, reported a local news agency, Kashmir News Observer (KNO).

Unnamed sourced told the agency that the road leading to the residence of former chief minister Dr. Abdullah was sealed by concertina wires. The leaders from different political parties including Congress, CPI (M), People’s Democratic Party, People’s Movement, and others were scheduled to attend the crucial meeting today, which was being held a year after the abrogation of Article 370.

However, the leaders who were scheduled to attend the meeting told KNO that they have been put under house detention and have been asked not to venture out of their homes.

Communist Party of India (CPI) (M) senior leader and former Member of Legislative Assembly Kulgam, Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami asked whether this is the normalcy that the government is talking about?

“How can you claim the normalcy when the leaders are not even being allowed to hold a meeting,” he said.

He said he was scheduled to attend the meeting today, but, was asked not to venture out of his home today. Speaking to KNO, Dr Farooq Abdullah said that he has heard that all the participants who were supposed to attend the meeting have been placed under house arrest. “They claim political process has started in Kashmir, but not a single leader was allowed to reach my residence,” the National Conference president said.

A police official said that section 144 remains in place across Srinagar and no violation of the same law would be allowed.

NC vice-president Omar Abdullah took to his twitter handle to vent his anger. He wrote: “One year on, this is Gupkar road today – police vehicles opposite our gates, concertina wire strung across the road at regular intervals & no vehicles allowed. My father had called a meeting of leaders of MAINSTREAM parties to deliberate on the current situation.”

In another tweet, Mr. Abdullah wrote: “Clearly the meeting is not being allowed to go ahead. The BJP gets to announce a 15 day celebration to mark 5th Aug & a handful of us aren’t allowed to meet in my father’s lawn. So much for BJP national leaders wondering why there is no political activity.”

In another tweet, he wrote: “One year later the authorities are still too afraid to allow us to meet much less carry out any normal political activity. This fear speaks volumes about the true situation on the ground in Kashmir.”—(KNO)

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