Srinagar: Scores of activists of the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took out separate protest marches here on Saturday after authorities allegedly detained top leaders of the parties ahead of a proposed sit-in against the draft proposals of the Delimitation Commission.
The protest call was given by the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) – an amalgam of various mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir including the NC, the PDP, CPI(M), Peoples Movement and Awami National Conference.
NC activists, including party spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar and youth wing president Salman Sagar, took out a protest march from NC headquarters Nawa-i-Subah here. The party activists tried to move towards Gupkar Road but were stopped by the police outside the party office.
“We wanted to take out a peaceful protest march against the Delimitation Commission’s draft proposals, but were stopped by the police. They did not even allow us to hold a sit-in,” Dar said.
The NC Spokesperson alleged the police “dragged” the party activists back to Nawa-i-Subah.
PDP activists also took out a protest march demanding restoration of Articles 370 and 35-A which were revoked by the Centre on August 5, 2019. The PDP activists were stopped by the police near GPO and later dispersed peacefully.
Meanwhile, NC vice president Omar Abdullah and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti praised their party colleagues for the protests.
“Well done to my @JKNC_ & @YNCJK colleagues for managing to come out & register our protest about all that is being done to disempower the people,” Omar wrote on Twitter.
“Despite the despotic administration’s attempts to foil our protests, PDP & NC workers managed to hit the streets in Srinagar today to raise their voice against the illegal revocation of Article 370. I salute their courage & resolve,” Mehbooba said in a tweet.
Earlier, authorities foiled the proposed protest march of the PAGD here against the draft proposals of the Delimitation Commission by allegedly detaining prominent leaders of the alliance.
Alliance president Farooq Abdullah, who is also the NC chief, PAGD vice president Mehbooba Mufti and spokesperson M Y Tarigami, a senior leader of the CPI(M), were among the leaders who were allegedly prevented from moving out of their residences.
Omar Abdullah alleged that police had locked the internal gates of their residence and trucks had been parked outside. He posted pictures of a police vehicle parked on the gates of their residence as well as that of a locked internal gate.
Tarigami said he was also put under house arrest and his residence locked. On December 21, the PAGD termed the proposal by the Delimitation Commission of adding six seats to Jammu region against only one to Kashmir valley as “divisive” and said the alliance would stage a protest here on New Year day.
Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone said the right to protest is intrinsic to the concept of a vibrant democracy.