PDP leaders refuse to sign bond that term 'dissent as anti-national'

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President, Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday expressed concern after 19 party leaders were asked to sign an affidavit after they were detained and released later for taking out a protest rally against the latest land laws.

Taking to Twitter, Mehbooba said the 19 PDP leaders who were detained for trying to protest were “asked to sign a dictatorial affidavit which they have refused to.”

“In which democracy is the right to peacefully protest an ‘anti national’ activity? PDP members detained last week for attempting to peacefully protest against news land laws in J&K today refused to sign a dictatorial affidavit that terms dissent as anti-national,” Mehbooba said.

Scores of PDP leaders were detained by police last Thursday when they tried to take out a protest march from the party headquarters here against the central government’s latest notification to allow outsiders to buy land in J&K.

However, all of them were released after being asked to give a surety bond of Rs 10,000 each in a local court. The PDP leaders were then asked to remain present in the court on November 5 and now they have been again asked to be present in the court on November 24.

“India is the world’s largest democracy only on paper now,” Mehbooba said. “When will this deliberate attempt to conflate BJP with India stop? How does disagreeing with BJP’s communal & divisive actions tantamount to being an anti-national or sedition? Seems like India is the world’s largest democracy only on paper now.”

The PDP spokesman Suhail Bukhari, who was one of 19 leaders detained by police, said the affidavit was “unacceptable in a democracy”. “We appeared in the court today and were asked to sign an affidavit to which we refused. Now we have been asked to be present in the court on November 24 again. It is appalling that we were not allowed a peaceful protest and putting forth our point of view,” Bukhari said.

Bukhari said the 19 PDP leaders who were detained last week “refused to sign surety bonds which asked them to refrain themselves from taking part in unlawful anti-national activities”.

The surety bond which the 19 PDP leaders have been asked to sign stated: “That we are permanent residents of the J&K UT. That a case under section 107/151 stands against us in the Hon’ble court of Tehsil office south Srinagar. That we will not indulge myself in any unlawful anti-national activities. That incase if we will be found again including myself in any unlawful anti-national activities then I shall be liable to face any action as per law.”