4 Congress leaders detained, party delegation’s visit to Kashmir cancelled
Four Congress leaders, including Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president and former minister Ghulam Ahmad Mir and Pradesh Youth Congress (PYC) president Uday Bhanu Chib, were put under house arrest in Jammu.
Former MLC and chief spokesperson of the J&K Congress Ravinder Sharma said, “Party president Ghulam Ahmad Mir, former legislative assembly speaker Tara Chand, former minister Raman Bhalla and PYC president Uday Bhanu Chib were put under house arrest on Tuesday morning.”
He also informed that restrictions were also imposed on many other party leaders.
JKPCC president Ghulam Ahmad Mir said, “On Monday, we had intimated the administration about our plan to take a party delegation to Udhampur, Batote, Ramban on Tuesday and then to Anantnag and Srinagar on Wednesday to interact with party workers to restart the party activity at the grass root level.”
Mir claimed that the administration had given permission for it.
“However, on Tuesday morning I and my senior colleagues Raman Bhalla and Tara Chand were put under house arrest. The SHOs concerned told us that they had got instructions from the top,” he added.
Mir called it an arm-twisting tactics of the government to stifle the voice of Opposition.
PYC president Uday Bhanu Chib said, “This morning I was put under house arrest because I was part of Congress delegation, which had to go to Kashmir to review the situation there. Modi government can invite European MPs to Kashmir but the Congress leaders can’t be allowed talk to the people of their own country.”
This comes a day after the government released five politicians from detention in Srinagar. They were taken into custody four months ago after the central government moved to scrap the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir by nullifying Article 370 of the Constitution, and changed its status from a state to union territory.
However, three former chief ministers - National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti continue to remain in detention.
The Centre has not provided any definite date for their release, only letting on that they will be freed at an “appropriate” time.
Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu has repeatedly said that the government was eager to start political activity in the union territory so that elections to the assembly could be held at the earliest and power goes to the politically elected government.