Two months after they were allowed to move out of their homes post removal of Article 370, state Congress president G A Mir and former Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand were among the five senior Congress leaders who were asked to stay inside their houses in Jammu on Tuesday by the UT Police.
Apart from Mir and Tara Chand, others who were detained include Mula Ram and Raman Bhalla, both former ministers and senior party leaders, besides Youth Congress president Uday Chib. After the Centre scrapped Article 370 and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir State into two Union Territories on August 5, these leaders were among many who were confined to their houses. However, in October this year, they were allowed to move out.
Mir said that the leaders had planned to hold meetings with senior party members in Udhampur, Ramban, Anantnag and Srinagar over the next two days beginning December 31. They had informed about the same to the police on Monday afternoon. “Around 9.30 pm Monday, as security officials told us that we can go as per our plan, we conveyed our tour programme to party leaders in the four districts. However, on Tuesday morning, police came asking us to stay indoors,’’ Mir said.
When the leaders questioned the cops, the police told that them they have orders from the seniors. The state Congress chief expressed surprise over fresh restrictions imposed on them, saying that on one hand the administration is asking mainstream politicians to resume political activity and on the other hand, it is imposing restrictions on their movement.
“Nearly five months after we detained inside our houses on August 5, this was the first attempt to resume political activity by meeting the party’s district office-bearers. We had only planned to ask them to restart their activity and not to organise protests or rallies,’’ he added. The Congress leader accused UT administration of allowing only BJP leaders to do the political activity.
The Jammu and Kashmir UT Police did not respond to our calls.
The move comes a day after the UT administration released five politicians in the Valley who had been in detention since August 5. Former PDP MLA Zahoor Mir, Bashir Mir of PDP, Dr Ghulam Nabi of National Conference, former MLA and NC leader Ishfaq Jabbar, and former legislator Yasir Reshi were released yesterday.
This was seen as a sign from the Central government to allow mainstream opposition parties to resume their normal political activity.