‘Mainstream’ politicians all cooped up in fortified shelters

‘Mainstream’ politicians all cooped up in fortified shelters

Srinagar: Facing social boycott in their native places, leaders and workers of pro-India political parties have gathered in highly fortified government accommodations in capital Srinagar, many of them with families and close relatives. Several leaders and office bearers of the pro-India parties, especially the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have occupied rooms and quarters in high-security zones. The authorities have intensified security around these accommodations to prevent attacks on the inmates.
An official in the hospitality and protocol department told Kashmir Reader that after protests broke out in Kashmir following the killing of Burhan Wani, scores of legislators and political workers descended on Srinagar to stay confined within official accommodations. The official said that a dozen legislators of the ruling PDP are staying at Circuit House. Many rooms have been rented out to senior workers of the party and also to several legislators of the BJP and the opposition National Conference.
“Normally, the rooms were occupied by members of visiting delegations and the relatives or acquaintances of the top bureaucrats and politicians, but this time, as we rarely get visitors from outside the Valley due to the present circumstances, the Circuit House rooms have been given to local politicians,” the official said. He refused to divulge names of the new boarders.
“Most of these politicians remain glued to TV screens and occasionally come down for meals in the restaurant. They seldom go out or are visited by people,” he said.
Several legislators who have been allotted flats and residential quarters at MLA hostel, Jawahar Nagar and Tulsi Bagh are also confined to accommodations owned by the estates department. Sources said that most of the legislators were rarely putting up at these accommodations before the public uprising started in Kashmir.
“They (legislators and politicians) were going back to rural areas even when the assembly was in session. But now they are permanently stationed in the high-security official accommodations,” the official said.
At Jawahar Nagar, a wall-fencing opposite the public park was painted with the word “collaborator”, which was painted over by the officials. Sources said police and paramilitary domination has been intensified around official accommodations at Jawahar Nagar, Tulsi Bagh, Jahangir Chowk and Chanapora areas.
The road leading to circuit house is barricaded with concertina wire and alert guards do not allow visitors unless their identity is found okay. The road leads to the official residences of several ministers and top government officials besides the private office of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
The legislators and pro-India politicians have thronged the security zones after the pro-freedom leadership asked people to ostracise them. There have been since then several attacks on residential houses and properties of the ruling party legislators. The latest attack occurred in Shopian where protesters attempted to torch MLA Muhammad Yousuf Bhat’s house. The pro-India politicians are also terrified by the attack on Pulwama legislator Muhammad Khalil Bandh, whose vehicle met an accident after protesters attacked it with stones. Bandh sustained a fracture in his leg and is recuperating in Delhi.

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