The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Tuesday condemned the detention of sister and daughter of the party president and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, describing the move as unprecedented and against people’s right to peaceful protest. Both were detained today along with some other women activists during a protest against abrogation of provisions of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.
“Being kin of the former chief ministers should not entail political victimisation, leading to curtailment of liberty and freedom of movement and speech,” senior National Conference leaders said in a joint statement here. They also condemned the continued detention of political leaders and common citizens, saying the situation has now touched such lowest depths that even the liberty of the relatives of those in public life is under severe threat.
Both Suraya Matto and Safiya Abdullah Khan were among a dozen women taken into preventive custody by police after they assembled at Partap Park and started protesting over Central government’s decision to end the state’s special status.
“The detention of Suraya Mattoo and Safiya Abdullah Khan, respectively sister and daughter of Dr Farooq Abdullah and the aunt and sister of Omar Abdullah, reflect sad state of affairs the state is in for the past nearly seventy days,” their joint statement read. It also sought immediate revocation of detention of political leaders and common citizens including Suraya and Safiya, saying that the curbs are against the democratic spirit and civil liberty.
“Such harsh measures will further alienate the people and delay restoration of normalcy in the Kashmir Valley, which is reeling under fear psychosis and sense of insecurity among the people,” the statement added.
Signatories to the statement included party’s provincial president Devender Singh Rana.