Ahead of the first phase of District Development Council (DDC) polls, Jammu and Kashmir Police on Friday barred PDP president and former CM Mehbooba Mufti from leaving her residence.
Mufti, who was to visit Pulwama, said she has been put under house detention. While J&K Police denied this and said she has been “requested to postpone” the visit for security reasons, they later also barred her from addressing the media at her residence.
On Friday, as she was leaving for Pulwama to meet the family of PDP youth president and DDC candidate Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, who has been arrested by the NIA, a police vehicle blocked the gate of her residence and she was told that she couldn’t go.
“Their cruelty knows no bounds. Waheed was arrested on baseless charges & I am not allowed to even console his family. Even my daughter Iltija has been placed under house arrest because she also wanted to visit Waheed’s family,” Mufti tweeted.
“I have been illegally detained yet again. Since two days, J&K admin has refused to allow me to visit @parawahid’s family in Pulwama. BJP Ministers & their puppets are allowed to move around in every corner of Kashmir but security is a problem only in my case,” she added.
Mufti also posted letters of District Police Pulwama and the Director, Special Security Group (SSG) on Twitter. “Neither Anti Sabotaging Check nor ASL (Advanced Security Liaison) has been conducted up till now besides entire manpower is committed for other election related/operation duties. As such it is requested to kindly advise/request her to defer tour programme of Pulwama today,” the District Police wrote to Director, SSG, who asked Mufti to reconsider the visit.
Denying that the PDP chief had been detained, J&K Police tweeted, “PDP leader Ms Mehbooba Mufti is not under house arrest. She was requested to postpone her visit to Pulwama purely due to security reasons.”
However, when she convened a press conference at her Fairview residence in the afternoon, police stopped journalists from entering the residence. “We are one day away from DDC polling & it’s evident that the admin here is using fear & intimidation in tandem to muffle any form of opposition,” Mufti tweeted after the press was not allowed in. “This despite no written orders explaining my arbitrary detention. Kashmir is an open air prison where no one has the right to express their opinion.”