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Rights

'Detained, Manhandled': Mehbooba Mufti's Daughter Seeks Removal of Police Security

Her security is handled by the J&K police’s Special Security Group.

Srinagar: Iltija Mufti, daughter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President, Mehbooba Mufti was on Tuesday “detained” at her Srinagar residence and barred from visiting the grave of her grandfather and former J&K chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on his fourth death anniversary.

Iltija said she will write to J&K police to seek withdrawal of her security after she was “manhandled” by the police. “The women police on duty at our (Gupkar) residence manhandled me and pushed me back when I tried to come out and visit my grandfather’s grave,” Iltija said. “I have bruises on my arm and a cut on one of my feet.”

According to Iltija, police, and administration had on Monday informed her that she could visit Sayeed’s grave at Bijbehara in Anantnag district. But, in the morning, Iltija said she was told by an official from her security team not to move out of her residence. Her security is handled by the J&K police’s Special Security Group (SSG).

Also read: Iltija Mufti Put Under House Arrest Ahead of Grandfather’s Death Anniversary

“They didn’t let me come out,” she said.

For the past five months, Iltija said, she has been repeatedly harassed by police. “I’m not a politician and don’t need anyone’s permission to move out,” she said. “I will write to administration and J&K police to seek the removal of my security. I don’t need it.”

According to Iltija she also discussed the issue with her mother whom she paid a visit later in the day. Mehbooba, the former J&K chief minister has been detained at a government guest house in the summer capital of Srinagar.

“She (Mehbooba) was very upset over the government’s decision to not allow us to visit my grandfather’s grave. As a mother, she got worried about my decision (to seek withdrawal of security), but I can’t live a life where I am jailed,” said Iltija.

The eldest of two daughters of Mehbooba, Iltija said she has not been allowed to move out of her residence since\ she was allegedly detained on December 2.

“Is this the normalcy they are talking about? What will have happened if I was allowed to go there (at Sayeed’s grave) for 15 minutes?” she said.

“The Prime Minister can go and visit his mother, why can’t I visit the grave of my grandfather. Do they consider it a crime?”

Besides Iltija, the authorities did not allow Mehbooba’s brother and former J&K minister, Tasaduq Mufti to visit Sayeed’s grave, she said. However Mehbooba’s two sisters, Dr Rubiya Sayeed and Mehmooda visited the grave and offered prayers.

“Their security has been withdrawn. They went in a private car,” said Iltija. “But my uncle (Tasaduq) was also disallowed,” said Iltija.

A police official said there were “strict instructions” not to allow Iltija to visit Bijbehara. “We followed the instructions,” he said.

Iltija has made headlines for her criticism of the government of India for its handling of Kashmir since August 5 when parliament scrapped Article 370 of the Indian constitution and bifurcated the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.

She has been using her mother’s Twitter account to frequently express her views on the political development and detention of Kashmir politicians.