Farooq Abdullah’s all-party meeting disallowed, roads blocked

SRINAGAR: Authorities on Wednesday foiled a crucial meeting of opposition mainstream leaders here at incumbent parliamentarian Dr Farooq Abdullah’s Gupkar residence in Srinagar as no participant was allowed to reach senior Abdullah’s home.

CRPF Personnel stand guard outside the People Democratic Party Headquarter to foil protest against the abrogation of article 370 at Residency road on August 5, 2020.KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

Quoting sources news agency KNO reported that the road leading to the residence of former chief minister Dr Abdullah was sealed with pools of concertina wires.

The leaders from different political parties including Congress, CPI (M), PDP, JKPM, PDF and others were scheduled to attend the crucial meeting today, which was being held a year after the abrogation of Article 370.

However, the leaders who were scheduled to attend the meeting said that they have been put under house detention and have been asked not to venture out of their homes.

CPI (M) senior leader and former MLA Kulgam, Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami asked that is this the normalcy which government is talking about?  “How can you claim the normalcy when the leaders are not even being allowed to hold a meeting,” he said.

Tarigami said he was scheduled to attend the meeting today, but, was asked not to venture out of his home today.

Speaking to news agency KNO, Dr Farooq said that he has heard that all the participants who were supposed to attend the meeting have been placed under house arrest. “They claim political process has started in Kashmir, but not a single leader was allowed to reach my residence,” the National Conference president said. A police official said that section 144 remains in place across Srinagar and no violation of the same law would be allowed.

NC vice-president Omar Abdullah took to his twitter handle to vent his anger. He wrote: “One year on, this is Gupkar road today – police vehicles opposite our gates, concertina wire strung across the road at regular intervals & no vehicles allowed. My father had called a meeting of leaders of MAINSTREAM parties to deliberate on the current situation.”

In another tweet, Omar wrote: “Clearly the meeting is not being allowed to go ahead. The BJP gets to announce a 15-day celebration to mark 5th Aug & a handful of us aren’t allowed to meet in my father’s lawn. So much for BJP national leaders wondering why there is no political activity.”

In another tweet, the former chief minister of erstwhile State of J&K wrote: “One year later the authorities are still too afraid to allow us to meet much less carry out any normal political activity. This fear speaks volumes about the true situation on the ground in Kashmir.”

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