Srinagar: Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said that detained youth leader Waheed Para’s “persecution by the Indian government is emblematic of the situation that Kashmiri politicians find themselves in today.”
Para who was arrested on 25 November 2020, a day after he filed his nomination for the DDC elections won his berth. He was bailed out and later re-arrested. Now he is facing formal charges for funnelling funds to insurgents through a Dy SP, who is also in detention.
The NIA court in Jammu had initially allowed oath through videoconference. On 28 December 2020, the court had ordered Superintendent District Jail Ambphalla, Jammu to make arrangements. This order, however, was stayed on 22 January, 2021
Meanwhile, Mehbooba while talking about Para’s ordeal taking to her Twitter handle said, “Waheed’s persecution by the Indian government is emblematic of the situation that Kashmiri politicians find themselves in today. Disliked and mistrusted by people in J-K for their faith in Indian constitution on one hand & punished by GOI for not toeing their line on the other,”
In an emotional thread, she wrote about Para’s interest in politics detailing the journey of his grandfather who according to her was among few Kashmiris who would unfurl the Indian flag, “PDPs @parawahid arrested immediately after filing his DDC nomination hails from a family where his grandfather would unfurl the Indian flag when not many Kashmiris would do so. Waheed’s interest in politics started at a young age,” Mehbooba said.
Adding as a child, Para would visit the local MLA’s house and listen to political conversations with rapt attention, “His mother was scared that one fine day he’d pursue this passion for politics and become a target for militants. Sadly this fear consumed her and she died when Waheed was a teenager,”
The former chief minister further said that the system Para placed his faith in was after him, “Today the very same system that he placed his faith in is going after him with a vengeance. Waheed despite being in illegal detention lasting a year fought and won DDC elections from jail. Even after a strong bail order by NIA court, he was rearrested by CIK on unknown charges,” She wrote.
Adding that not having any proof to substantiate these charges, GOI was on a spree where Waheed is arrested by one agency after another, “It is sheer political vendetta and an attempt to sabotage the life of a young and promising 32-year-old man. His last hope now rests on the justice system and I hope that truth and justice prevail.” Mehbooba concluded.