Srinagar, Aug 27: Police on Thursday foiled Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) protest rally in the summer capital, Srinagar — demanding release of its leadership, including President Mehbooba Mufti — and took several leaders into preventive custody.
Reacting to the detention of the PDP leaders who tried to take out the protest rally, Iltija Mufti, daughter of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, alleged that ‘enforced normalcy through institutionalized repression stands exposed’.
Scores of PDP workers and leaders, including party spokesperson Harbaksh Singh, Hamid Kohsheen and Rouf Bhat, assembled at the party headquarters in Srinagar on Thursday.
Holding banners, which read, ‘We want to live with peace and dignity’, ‘Stop human rights violation, besides other slogans’, the PDP leaders tried to take out a protest rally, demanding release of its leadership and other Kashmiris detained in and outside J&K since August last year.
However, as the PDP leaders and workers tried to move out of the party office, security forces deployed in the area swung into action and tried to stop the protestors from moving ahead.
As the protestors didn’t back down, security forces took several leaders, including Harbaksh Singh, Hamid Kohsheen and Rouf Bhat, into preventive custody.
The attempted protest rally comes days after National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah, who was released from detention in March this year, held a series of meetings with his party leaders.
Mehbooba Mufti alongwith two former CMs Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah, besides dozens of mainstream leaders, including ex-ministers, were detained on August 5, 2019, when centre abrogated Article 370 and Article 35 A, besides bifurcated the state into two Union Territories.
The PDP president was later booked under PSA and stayed in solitary confinement for over eight months. She is still under detention while others have been released.