Farooq not allowed to pray at Hazratbal

Authorities on Friday did not allow National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah from visiting Hazratbal shrine on the occasion of Eid-i-milad-un-Nabi (SAW) to take part in the congregational prayers.

A party spokesman confirmed that Dr Abdullah was barred from offering prayers after a police vehicle blocked the main entrance of his Gupkar Road residence.

“J&K administration has blocked the residence of Party President Dr Farooq Abdullah and stopped him from offering prayers at Dargah Hazratbal”, the NC spokesman said. The party condemned the curbs on the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister calling it an “infringement of fundamental rights.” “JKNC condemns this infringement of fundamental right to pray, especially on the auspicious occasion of Eid-i-milad-un-Nabi (SAW),” the spokesman said.

Dr Abdullah was released from more than 7-month detention in March this year, after he was detained along with dozens of other leaders on or before August 5, 2019 when the Government of India scrapped the special Constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir.

People’s Alliance For Gupkar Declaration has also condemned blocking the gate of Dr Abdullah’s residence. PAGD, a group of seven political parties that has vowed to fight for restoration of Article 370, is headed by Dr Abdullah as its president.

In a statement, PAGD spokesperson Sajad Lone said: “We strongly condemn the actions of the administration, which is tantamount to interference in the religious rights of Dr Farooq Abdullah. This marks a new low in the curtailment of the fundamental rights of the people of J&K. We demand that the blockade be removed so that Dr Farooq Sahib is able to perform his religious duties,” the statement said.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the curbs imposed to prevent Dr Abdullah from visiting Dargah Hazratbal. “Preventing Farooq sahab from offering prayers on Milad Un Nabi SAW at Hazratbal exposes GOI’s deep paranoia and their iron fist approach towards J&K. It’s a gross violation of our rights and is highly condemnable,” Mehbooba wrote on Twitter. On Thursday, police had detained 19 PDP leaders after they tried to take out a protest march from the party headquarters. However, all the leaders were later released.

NC general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar also denounced the administration for stopping Dr Abdullah terming it “as a blatant interference in fundamental rights and religious affairs.”