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Politics

Mehbooba Mufti Claims She Has Been Put Under 'Illegal Detention'

The former CM says she has been detained to prevent her from visiting the family of Waheed ur Rehman, the PDP's youth wing president who was arrested by the NIA.

Srinagar: People’s Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti was on Friday morning put under “house detention” to restrain her from visiting the family of her party’s youth president, Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency on Wednesday for alleged links to militant groups. The move comes barely 24 hours before Jammu and Kashmir will vote for the first phase of the district development council election in which the Gupkar Alliance is locked in a direct contest with the Bharatiya Janta Party and Apni Party.

In a series of tweets, Mehbooba claimed that she has been detained yet again to prevent her from visiting the family of Waheed-Ur-Rehman Parra.

The former chief minister said for the past two days, the J&K admininstration has refused to allow her to visit Parra’s family in Pulwama. “BJP ministers & their puppets are allowed to move around in every corner of Kashmir but security is a problem in my case,” she tweeted.

The former CM was released last month after spending more than one year in detention in the aftermath of the Centre’s decision to dilute Article 370 on August 5, 2019.

She said she is not being allowed to console Waheed’s family after arresting him on “baseless charges”. “The cruelty knows no bounds. Waheed was arrested on baseless charges & I am not being allowed to console his family. Even my daughter Iltija has been placed under house arrest because she also wanted to visit Waheed’s family,” she tweeted.

Parra was arrested by the NIA for alleged militant links days after he filed nomination papers for contesting in the district development council polls in his native Pulwama district.

In 2016, Rajnath Singh, then Union home minister and the current defence minister, had praised Parra’s efforts to promote sports in Kashmir.

Waheed Parra. Photo: Twitter/@parawahid

On her Twitter handle, Mehbooba also shared communications from security agencies advising against her planned visit to Pulwama.

The agencies have advised that the visit be deferred, claiming that neither anti-sabotage check nor proper route sanitisation has been done due to the engagement of its manpower in election-related duties.

Talking to The Wire, Iltija Mufti said that everything is being criminalised in Kashmir by the BJP.“We were trying to visit the family of Waheed for the past two days, but they are not allowing us to move out. The superintendent of police in Pulwama is advising against our visit there. How can the police tell us to sit at our home as they cannot provide us with security? It is the duty of the police to provide security,” she said.

Mehbooba has been put under “house detention” just a day before voting will take place for the first of eight phases of the DDC polls.

Since the State Election Commission unveilled the schedule for the polls, the administration of the J&K Union Territory, as well as the Central government, have come under criticism from the opposition parties for not allowing their candidates to campaign.

The Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, a conglomerate of six parties including the National Conference, the People’s Democratic Party, People’s Conference, has repeatedly castigated the government for impeding the movement of their candidates.

Also Read: J&K: Are ‘Security Restrictions’ Being Used to Give BJP DDC Candidates an Upper Hand?

The alliance even sought the intervention of the State Election Commission for doing away with these restrictions and impediments.

“A strange and unique feature has come to the fore. Candidates put up by the PAGD are immediately whisked away to “secure locations” in the name of security and confined to those “secure locations”. They are not allowed to canvas, they are completely out of touch with those from whom they are supposed to seek votes,” read a letter from PAGD chairman Farooq Abdullah to the SEC.