Srinagar, Nov 30: Jammu and Kashmir State Election Commissioner K K Sharma on Monday said that former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti was never stopped for campaigning during the ongoing District Development Council (DDC) elections in the Union Territory.
“Mehbooba Mufti is former chief minister of J&K so whenever she moves out she needs protection. For all the former chief ministers there is SSG which secures them in J&K. There is a protocol in view of which the movement of former chief ministers is done. The protocol has to be followed by all security agencies, including police,” Mr Sharma told reporters during a press conference here on Monday.
The SEC said that Mehbooba’s Friday’s visit was not related to campaigning. “It was a condolence visit and the destination was 40 to 50 km away from her residence. At that time, during the assessment, it was found (by security agencies) that her visit to the area was not conducive… so she was advised not to visit the area,” he said.
“Otherwise she is free as a leader of her party to campaign for the candidates,” he added.
Mehbooba had on Friday said that she has been yet again ‘illegally’ detained and not allowed to meet the family of Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra in south Kashmir district of Pulwama. “Iltija was also placed under house arrest as she wanted to visit Parra’s family,” she added.
Parra, a PDP youth leader, was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday for allegedly supporting militants.
A security force vehicle was parked in front of the main gate of the Gupkar residence of Mehbooba, who was released in October this year after remaining under detention for 14 months since August 5, 2019, when centre abrogated Article 370 and Article 35 A. Later in the day, Ms Mehbooba was prevented from addressing a press conference at her Gupkar residence in Srinagar.
Taking to micro blogging site twitter, PDP president had said, “Press has been barred from entering my residence in Srinagar. This despite no written orders explaining my arbitrary detention. Kashmir is an open air prison where no one has the right to express their opinion.”