Srinagar, Dec 21: Three top Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders, who form the core group of party chief Mehbooba Mufti, were detained in Kashmir, just a day ahead of the results of the maiden District Development Council (DDC) polls.
An official said two south Kashmir-based leaders were detained in the morning and shifted to a police station in Anantnag’s Bijbehara town. “One leader was arrested when was heading for Srinagar from Anantnag,” a police official said.
The arrested leaders are Sartaj Madani, uncle of Mufti and also ex-deputy speaker of the assembly, and Peer Mansoor Hussain, a former legislator.
In a separate raid, a police party arrested former minister Naeem Akhtar around 9:45 p.m. “The police came knocking on our door. My father was detained at the unearthly hour. There was no order or government instruction shown to us. We don’t know the ground of detention or the duration. I cannot relive through the horror of last year but will stand by him always,” Akhtar’s daughter Shehryar Khanum said.
The police have neither confirmed nor denied these detentions. The police have spelt no reasons or details of the case in which the arrests were made.
However, sources said the central investigating agencies have been investigating funding and transactions made during the regime of Mehbooba Mufti as a chief minister.
Meanwhile, Mehbooba Mufti termed the arrests as “total lawlessness”. “Mr. Madni and Mr. Hussain have been arbitrarily detained today on the eve of DDC election results. Every senior police officer here is clueless as it is ‘upar say order’. No rule of law in J&K anymore. It is out and out Gunda Raj,” Mehbooba tweeted.
She alleged that the J&K administration is on an arrest spree and “Mr. Akhtar has been abducted by the J&K police”. “It looks like the BJP is planning to manipulate the DDC results tomorrow and don’t want any resistance. Democracy is being murdered in J&K,” she tweeted.