Police cite ‘prevalent COVID situation, larger security implications’ for disallowing PDP youth convention

Srinagar police in a statement said it was "completely incorrect that Ms Mufti is under house arrest".
Police cite ‘prevalent COVID situation, larger security implications’ for disallowing PDP youth convention
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Srinagar Dec 12: Police on Sunday cited the "prevalent COVID situation and larger security implications" for foiling youth convention of the People's Democratic Party in Srinagar. It also denied to have house arrested PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti as claimed by the party.

The party had scheduled to hold the youth convention at Fairview, a government bungalow which is also the residence of Mehbooba Mufti, on Gupkar Road.

But police foiled the convention following an order by Executive Magistrate South Srinagar while citing the COVID-19 restrictions. A party spokesman told a local news agency that the authorities did not allow them to hold the convention at an alternate location at the party headquarters while also also saying Mehbooba was "house arrested" by the police.

However, Srinagar police in a statement said it was "completely incorrect that Ms. Mufti is under house arrest".

Over disallowing the convention, police said, "Gathering of at least 1000 people was expected. Given the prevalent COVID situation and larger security implications resulting from allowing such a large number of people and accompanying cars and vehicles into a high security zone, it was not advisable to allow such a large flow of people and unchecked vehicles".

"There are credible inputs of vehicle bound IEDs being used to target civilians and high security installations. The Gupkar Road houses high security buildings of various organisations and security sensitive establishments and intelligence agencies. Allowing large number of vehicles to be parked in this high security zone would have jeopardised the security in the area, " it added.

Police further said that "no such gatherings and amassing of vehicles were allowed on the road earlier too".

"Moreover no official residence has been known to have hosted large political rallies on Gupkar Road in the recent past. Legal orders for necessary restrictions on the convention were passed by the Executive Magistrate, South Srinagar keeping in mind the COVID protocol and security sensitiveness of Gupkar zone".

As per the police statement, the local administration in Srinagar had "advised PDP to apply for holding this convention in a more open area in view of Covid-19 and security reasons".

Greater Kashmir
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