Police foil NC protest against new land laws

Police on Friday prevented National Conference leaders from taking out a rally towards Raj Bhavan in protest against new land laws for J&K.

Scores of party leader and members led by provincial President Devender Singh Rana assembled at the party headquarters here to for a protest march to Raj Bhavan to submit a memorandum to seek withdrawal of the new land laws.

As soon as the leaders came out and started the march, they were stopped by the police personnel who had barricaded the road, triggering a scuffle between two sides.

The police also had also laid rolls of concertina wires outside the National Conference headquarters to prevent the protesters from coming out on the road.

After being prevented from taking out the rally, the National Conference leaders staged a sit-in on the road, shouting slogans against the BJP.

They also held protest against the authorities for barring the party President, Farooq Abdullah from coming out of his residence and offering prayers

“We were holding discussions inside the party office over the present situation and land laws and all of a sudden a huge deployment of police was made outside,” said Rana while speaking to media.

“We are Indian and will always remain Indians. We are not in a fight with the country but this fight is against the government,” he said.

Rana said Abdullah was the symbol of secularism and nationalism. He questioned why the party President was stopped from offering Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi (SAW) prayers in Srinagar. “If Farooq Abdullah is not secular or nationalist, I think, no one else is secular or nationalist in J&K,” he said.

He said the party was fighting for the rights of the people of J&K and Ladakh and this fight was within the Constitution framework. “Under the constitution, we want to protect the rights of the people of J&K and Ladakh,” Rana said.

He said after August 5 last year, when the government of India abrogated Article 370, BJP had assured that land, and jobs would be protected for the locals of J&K. “However, they have miserably failed,” he said.

He demanded jobs for youths and protection to land for locals. “We are an integral part of India but even the basic protections granted to states such as Himachal Pradesh and others have been denied to the people of J&K,” he said.