The workers of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Monday staged a demonstration here demanding withdrawal of an FIR against some party leaders, including former Member Legislative Council Firdous Tak, last week.
Tak and some other party leaders were booked for allegedlyinstigating people after they held a protest in Kishtwar district last Fridayagainst the reported plans of the Jammu and Kashmir administration tostrengthen the village defence committees (VDCs).
Scores of party workers assembled outside Kishtwar policestation and staged a sit-in.
“We gathered here to protest the registration of the FIRagainst party leaders in Kishtwar,” PDP youth leader Parvez Waffa, who wasleading the protest, told media persons. “Our party is against arming ofcivilians, especially belonging to a particular community and subscribing to aparticular ideology.”
Police have started a process to replace 352 VDC members and117 special police officers (SPOs), who are above the age of 60 years. The movecomes after the district was rattled by the killing of BJP state secretary AnilParihar and his brother Ajeet Parihar last November, followed by the assassinationof senior RSS leader Chanderkant Sharma and his security guard inside a healthcentre in April.
Waffa pointed out that the Constitution has given thecitizens of the country a right to highlight their demands by peacefuldemonstrations, alleging the present dispensation in the state was snatchingthis right by registering police cases.
“Tak and his colleagues have come on the roads to raisethe concerns of various sections of the society over the arming of civilians inthe district,” he said and cautioned that the PDP activists would hit theroads across the state and would court arrest en-masse if the FIR against theparty leaders was not withdrawn.
Pertinently, the VDCs were set up in the mid-1990s with anaim to strengthen the security of those living in remote and mountainous areasof Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri, Reasi, Kathua and Poonch districts of theJammu region. The members of these committees not only guard the identifiedvillages along the border, but also the infrastructural installations in andaround them.