National Conference on Thursday expressed dismay over the “stifling of democratic voices” in J&K, terming the curbs on political leaders and activists as “undemocratic and dictatorial.”
In a statement, party spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar while taking exception to the measures of J&K administration of not allowing Peoples Democratic Party to hold a meeting here, said the measure was “oppressive and reminded of colonial era tactics of muzzling political voices in J&K.”
He said the prolonged curbs on political parties were not in the greater good of anybody and that such measures would not help to redeem the situation to fullest.
“Our party colleagues were also denied their right to freedom but our party as a last resort sought legal course to provide succour to them. We pursued our case legally and peacefully, and the government on account of the indefensible nature of the detentions had no other option left but to release all our detained leaders,” Imran said.
He said the government has no right to deprive a citizen of his liberty, even for one moment without the authority of law. “We denounce the curbs and reprisals of all hues on mainstream political activists. Unfortunately the mainstream voice is being caged in the form of gags on political activity. We denounce the measure in unequivocal terms,” he said.
The party spokesperson also demanded release of all political, trade union and civil society activists still languishing in detention centers, saying that the full salvation of the situation in J&K was not possible until all detainees were set free and the injustices committed on the people on August 5 last year were reversed.
Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party senior leader Muhammad Dilawar Mir also denounced the curbs imposed on the PDP’s proposed meeting.
In a statement, Mir termed the police action wherein the PDP leaders were not allowed to venture out from their homes to attend the planned meeting as “highly condemnable and undemocratic.”
“Restricting movement of PDP leaders who are otherwise free as per the government affidavit submitted in the Court is totally illegal and against democratic spirit of this country. JKAP censures this police action and calls for an immediate end to such illegal and unwanted restrictions on political leaders in J&K,” Mir demanded.
He observed that putting restrictions on the movement of political leaders and workers and foiling political meetings was fraught with serious implications. “Rather than imposing autocratic decisions the government should facilitate an early resumption of the political process in J&K which has already received a huge dent since last year,” Mir remarked.
He reiterated the JKAP’s demand of an immediate release of political detainees including the PDP President and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.