“The protesters also raised slogans for the restoration of the erstwhile state’s special status, and also denounced the ‘highhandedness’ of police and administration.”
SRINAGAR — Despite the Jammu and Kashmir administration’s attempts to scuttle the protest demonstration of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) against the Delimitation Commission’s draft proposal, two constituents of the Alliance, National Conference (NC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Saturday staged a demonstration in the capital city Srinagar even as the two former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir state Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were put under house-arrest.
The Delimitation Panel that met in New Delhi on November 20 had proposed six additional seats for the Jammu region and one for the Kashmir division. This would take the total number of assembly seats in the Jammu division to 43 and in Kashmir to 47.
The PAGD while rejecting the delimitation commission’s proposal had called for a protest demonstration on January 1 to protest the move.
PDP workers and members led by party leader Muhammad Yasin Bhat assembled on Jehlum Bund in Lal Chowk Srinagar and held a protest demonstration. They were demanding the restoration of Articles 370 and 35A.
The protesting party members told the media that they demand the resolution of the Kashmir dispute to put an end to the “cycle of killings”. Raising slogans for the restoration of the erstwhile states special status, the protesters also denounced the “highhandedness” of police and administration and attempted to march towards the main residency road. Police deployed on the road stopped them and they later dispersed.
NC spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar and youth wing president, Salman Sagar, lead a protest of the party activists from NC headquarters Nawa-i-Subah complex. The protestors tried marching towards Gupkar Road but were stopped by the police. They carried banners reading “restore Article 370” and said that the protest demonstration was carried out to protest the attempts being made to disempower the people.
Meanwhile, criticizing the government’s curbs on the PAGD leaders, Omar said that the current administration is terrified of normal democratic activity. He said that trucks have been parked outside “our gates to scuttle the peaceful PAGD sit in.”
Omar Tweeted: “Good morning & welcome to 2022. A new year with the same J&K police illegally locking people in their homes & an administration so terrified of normal democratic activity. Trucks parked outside our gates to scuttle the peaceful @JKPAGD sit-in protest. Some things never change.”
Omar later praised his party workers for holding the peaceful demonstration. He tweeted: “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.”
PDP President, Mehbooba Mufti also praised NC and PDP workers for registering the protest. She said despite the “despotic administration’s attempts to foil our protests”, PDP and 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,” she tweeted.
Aaliya Shalla is a trainee staff writer at the Mountain Ink. She is a pass out of Multimedia & Mass Communication from the Govt. Degree College, Baramulla.