Jailed PDP youth leader Waheed Para wins DDC election

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PDP youth president Waheed Para, who is in custody of the National Investigation Agency for alleged links with militants, on Tuesday won the District Development Council (DDC) elections from Pulwama district in Jammu and Kashmir.

Para defeated BJP candidate Sajad Ahmad Raina.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said she was proud of her party’s youth leader to register a win.

“Couldn’t be prouder of PDP’s @parawahid who won his maiden election by a huge margin of votes. Despite being arrested on baseless charges right after filing his nomination people have shown their love & trust for Waheed. Hope justice prevails,” Mehbooba wrote on Twitter.

Para was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on November 25, a few days after filing nomination papers as a People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) candidate.

The NIA had said Para was arrested in connection with the Naveed Babu-Davinder Singh case for supporting Hizbul Mujahideen in conspiracy with the other accused persons.

Para was considered to be a key motivator for youth to join mainstream politics in Pulwama and adjoining Shopian districts of south Kashmir when militancy was raising its head there again.

As secretary of Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council from 2016 to 2018, Para played a major role in organising sporting events in nook and corner of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state which included the Ladakh region.