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Article 370: J&K administration confines top politicians

The five-party alliance had called for protests against commission’s recent proposal to give Jammu six additional legislative seats while granting only one to Kashmir
Farooq Abdullah.
Farooq Abdullah.
File photo

Muzaffar Raina   |   Srinagar   |   Published 02.01.22, 01:45 AM

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Saturday confined top politicians, including three former chief ministers, to their homes to prevent them from hitting the streets against the delimitation commission’s draft recommendations while dozens of their supporters staged protests.

The five-party alliance fighting for the restoration of Article 370 provisions had called for protests on Saturday against the commission’s recent proposal to give Jammu six additional legislative seats while granting only one to Kashmir.


The move is being seen as part of the BJP’s alleged larger goal to shift power from Kashmir to Jammu and install a Hindu chief minister.

Experts claim Kashmir, as per the population of two regions, should have got more seats than Jammu.

Former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and several other politicians found themselves restricted to their homes early on Saturday after police deployed vehicles at their gates to prevent them from leaving their homes.

Their supporters tried to stage protests at multiple places against the draft proposal but were thwarted by authorities.

National Conference activists took out a protest rally from their party headquarters near the Srinagar city centre and tried to march towards Gupkar, which is home to top politicians. The protest was led by youth leader Salman Sagar.

NC spokesman Imran Nabi Dar said they were stopped outside the party office at Nawai Subah and pushed back.

Supporters of Mehbooba’s People’s Democratic Party also took out a protest but were dispersed after they had walked some distance.

The politicians reacted sharply to the restrictions.

“Good morning and welcome to 2022. A new year with the same JK police illegally locking people in their homes and an administration so terrified of normal democratic activity,” Omar tweeted.

“Trucks parked outside our gates to scuttle the peaceful @JKPAGD sit-in protest. Some things never change.”

The NC leader said they were living in a lawless state and alleged the police even locked the internal gate connecting his father Farooq’s home to his sister’s.

“Yet our leaders have the cheek to tell the world that India is the largest democracy, hah!!” Omar tweeted.

Mehbooba said a police truck was parked outside her house.

“GOI trumpets scrapping Article 370 & dismembering J&K throughout the country but is deeply paranoid & intolerant when people of J&K want to protest against its disempowerment. For the umpteenth time, we’ve been placed under house arrest for trying to organise a peaceful protest,” she tweeted.

Senior CPM leader M.Y. Tarigami, the spokesperson of the alliance, said it was sad that the Jammu and Kashmir administration was “scared even to allow a peaceful protest”.

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