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Mehbooba not allowed to hold PDP youth rally

The Peoples Conference (PC) led by Sajad Lone was also denied permission to hold a rally in north Kashmir’s Kupwara. Citing Covid-19 restrictions, the district administration of Srinagar denied permission to the PDP to hold its convention.

SNS | Jammu |

The Jammu and Kashmir administration did not allow former Chief Minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti to hold a youth convention of the party on Sunday in Srinagar.

The Peoples Conference (PC) led by Sajad Lone was also denied permission to hold a rally in north Kashmir’s Kupwara.

Citing Covid-19 restrictions, the district administration of Srinagar denied permission to the PDP to hold its convention.

The PDP youth wing event was scheduled to begin at 11 am at Mehbooba’s Gupkar Road residence. However, the executive magistrate of south Srinagar ordered that the “scheduled youth convention by the PDP is not allowed following a report from the Senior Superintendent of Police and in view of Covid-19 protocols”.

Police put up barricades on the roads leading to the venue to prevent people from reaching there.

PDP and PC leaders accused the administration of adopting double standards on allowing political rallies. Denial to the two parties has come a day after the National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah was allowed to hold a rally in Baramulla.

The NC held its youth convention last Sunday in Srinagar on the birth anniversary of Sheikh Abdullah. Omar Abdullah is scheduled to visit Anantnag today. NC chief Farooq Abdullah is addressing party rallies almost daily in Jammu for the past three days.

In a video message, while walking through the venue of the rally with piled-up chairs in the background, Mehbooba said that if young people leave their homes, “they become victims of either a bullet or a baton or thrown in jail.”

Mehbooba said, “We won’t give up or bend to their will.” She reiterated her resolve to continue fighting for the “resolution of J&K issue and restore its dignity and identity through peaceful and democratic means”. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of democracy with President Biden recently. But they have not been able to uphold democracy in J&K.”

The convention was a means for her to speak to the young people associated with her party and it has been “sabotaged” by the administration. “New ways are being sought to deprive young people of their rights. To keep them away from democratic means and push them on the path of violence so that it is easier for them (government) to manhandle the youth and incarcerate them,” she said.

Urging the youth to come together, Mehbooba said, “We have to tell them that we are not afraid. If we had compromised like other political parties, we would not have been barred from holding this meet.”

Meanwhile, J&K Peoples Conference regretted the “partisan approach” of district administration Kupwara for repeatedly denying permission to the party for organizing a convention while facilitating other parties in holding public gatherings.

“It is highly unfortunate that repeated requests by JKPC to hold a convention in Kupwara are denied due to COVID concerns while other parties are facilitated and allowed a free hand to hold public rallies. We urge @dckupwara to avoid partisan approach in enforcing COVID protocols”, PC tweeted from its official account.