Commuters passing by the Fairview residence of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti at the high-security Gupkar Road were taken by surprise on Wednesday morning on witnessing unusual scenes after a long time along the stretch.
Entrance to the official residence of Mehbooba Mufti had been thrown open for the party leaders after it remained out-of-bounds for them for more than a year.
One after other, the PDP leaders entered the Fairview to meet Mehbooba Mufti, who was released by the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday night after 14-month long detention.
Throughout the day there was a beeline of the visitors there. However, the highlight of the day was when National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah and party vice president Omar Abdullah drove into the Fairview and held an hour-long interaction with Mehbooba. Later in the evening, Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone also called on Mufti at her residence.
In April this year, Mehbooba Mufti’s official residence was declared a sub-jail by the authorities after the former J&K Chief Minister was shifted there from a government guest house at MA Road. She had been detained with hundreds of other political leaders and workers on or ahead of August 5, 2019 when the Government of India scrapped special Constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir.
PDP leaders and some party workers kept had reached the Fairview in the morning on Wednesday to meet Mehbooba Mufti. Amid a huge media presence outside her residence, party leaders interacted with the PDP president for almost 90 minutes.
Speaking with Greater Kashmir after meeting her, PDP general secretary, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said: “It was a courtesy call to meet the party president.” Hanjura was among eight senior PDP leaders who were released from house detention last month.
“We are here to know about her wellbeing. We didn’t discuss the prevailing political situation but just met our party president today,” Hanjura said.
“In last two months, we had put across three requests to the administration for permitting us to meet our party president. We were disappointed all this while as we couldn’t meet her but today we are all overwhelmed,” said Hanjura.
A youth PDP leader said the party leadership was “keenly awaiting to be a part of the meeting which would be chaired by the party president.”
“I am quite glad that she is free once again and here with us. Her presence infuses new life into the party and we look forward to more such meetings in days to come which would also chalk-out the political agenda of the PDP in front of the people,” the leader said.
Addressing mediapersons after interacting with the party president, PDP spokesman Suhail Bukhari said that the meetings between party leaders and Mehbooba Mufti will continue for next few days as well. “Today senior party leaders and workers met her and the process of meetings will continue during the next few days,” Bukhari said.
“What was snatched from us illegally and unconstitutionally, we will continue to fight for the restoration of the same (Article 370). We hope we will all jointly strive for the same. Whatever happened was betrayal, we will fight against it,” said Bukhari.