'Vendetta' Cry as NIA Arrests PDP Leader Waheed Parra Days After He Filed DDC Polls Nomination

Parra's name has allegedly surfaced in connection with the probe into the case of tainted Deputy SP Davinder Singh who was caught transporting Hizbul terrorists.

Srinagar: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday arrested the People’s Democratic Party’s youth wing president Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra in connection with a case related to militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.

Parra was called by the NIA in New Delhi for questioning a day after he filed his nomination form for the upcoming District Development Council (DDC) elections from Pulwama in South Kashmir. He was being questioned at the NIA headquarters since Monday for “alleged involvement with the Hizbul Mujahideen terror group.”

Taking to Twitter, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti wrote that Parra is being falsely charged as a method to intimidate PDP and other mainstream J&K parties.

“Waheed has no connection whatsoever with this man,” she wrote. ‘This man’ in Mufti’s tweet refers to Deputy Superintendent of Police Davinder Singh, who was earlier arrested by the NIA after having been was caught “transporting” two hardcore Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists and one overground worker for a fee.

PTI has reported that Parra’s name surfaced in connection with the probe into Singh’s case.

Parra has been instrumental in the revival of the PDP in south Kashmir, especially in militancy-infested Pulwama.

Mufti has further tweeted that Parra has even been applauded by now Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

Speaking to The Wire, Mufti called the arrest an act of “pure vendetta”. 

“The ‘Gujarat model’ is being implemented here. Parra was a torchbearer of democracy and a youth leader. Since PDP is very vocal about the scrapping of Article 370, this message was sent to all mainstream leaders to warn them of a similar fate if they choose to keep on talking about restoring Article 370,” she said.

Of all the mainstream political bigwigs of J&K who were kept imprisoned following the Article 370 move on August 5, 2019, Mufti was held the longest.

Also read: Davinder Singh and a System Which Rewards Officers Who Produce ‘Convenient Results’

Mufti said that the BJP-ruled Centre “had never anticipated” that the conglomerate of mainstream parties which includes PDP and refers to itself as the Gupkar alliance, were going to participate in the elections. “Although it came as a shocker for them, these pressure tactics won’t break our resolve and people are going to come out to cast their votes for candidates of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration,” she said.

The BJP, Mufti said, has facilitated a system through which they still have tainted policemen like Singh in the system.

“Given the situation we are facing, in Jammu and Kashmir, it seems participating in democratic set up is a crime,” Mufti said, adding that people were sure to vote en masse for the PAGD unless “they sabotage polling day by resorting to violence.”

Candidates of PAGD were not being allowed to freely campaign either, Mufti alleged. “One of our candidates from South Kashmir is not being allowed to travel since they filed the nomination 15 days ago,” she said.

The State Election Commissioner K.K. Sharma had said in a press conference recently that all candidates were free to campaign. 

“If there is any issue they can contact the concerned officials,” Sharma had said.

Authorities have kept many contesting candidates in cluster accommodations citing security concerns.