34 detainees shifted to Srinagar MLA hostel
As many as 34 political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, who were under detention at a Srinagar hotel since the Centre nullified Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated the state into Union territories on August 5, were shifted to a government accommodation near the city centre at Lal Chowk on Sunday, officials said.
Ali M Sagar, a National Conference leader; Shah Faesal, a bureaucrat-turned-politician and convenor of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples’ Movement; and Sajad Lone, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples’ Conference leader, among others, were transferred to an MLA hostel on MA Road, Srinagar.
“All the 34 leaders have been shifted to MLA hostel,” a senior officer said on condition of anonymity.
So far, the leaders were lodged at the Centaur hotel at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) on the banks of the Dal Lake.
The officials cited the escalating cost of the lodging at the hotel and lack of proper heating arrangements as reasons for shifting the leaders.
Earlier on Friday, former J&K chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti, who was also under detention since August 5, was shifted to a guest house of the Estates Department, which is better equipped to beat the winter after the recent spell of rain and snowfall in Kashmir, officials said. Mufti was lodged in a hut at Chesma Shahi.
Meanwhile, allegations of manhandling the leaders who were shifted to the MLA hostel surfaced against the police.
Taking to Twitter, Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter, Iltija Mufti, alleged that some of the politicians were roughed up.
“SKICC detainees shifted to MLA hostel, Srinagar today [Sunday]. Police manhandled them & roughed up Sajad Lone, Waheed Para & Shah Faesal. Is this how you treat elected representatives? Why humiliate them? J&K is under martial law & police seems be inebriated with power,” she said.
Kashmir inspector general of police SP Pani did not respond to the allegations.