Is ‘freedom of expression’ enjoyed only by those in power, asks Freedom Party

Is ‘freedom of expression’ enjoyed only by those in power, asks Freedom Party

Srinagar:Terming the continuous house arrest of its chairman Shabir Ahmad Shah as based on “political vengeance”, the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) on Friday said such “undemocratic” acts puncture the balloon of the so-called ‘battle of ideas’.
Shah was released two weeks ago after six months and since then continues to be under house arrest.
In a statement issued here, DFP secretary general Moulana Abdullah Tari while criticising authorities said, “Shah has spent 30 years of his life in jails and the puppet administration by incarcerating him are resorting to political vengeance. He isn’t even allowed to offer congregational Friday prayers. Is the ‘freedom of expression’ the right enjoyed only by those in power?”
Giving details of Shah’s incarceration period, Moulana said from 2011 till date, he (Shah) has been in police detention or under house arrest for a period of 40 months and 13 days and during this time he was barred from offering 230 Friday and 12 Eid prayers.
“During the incarceration period, many of Shah Sahib’s close relatives passed away but he wasn’t allowed to attend the last rites,” he said.
Slamming authorities, the DFP secretary general said, “People still remember the dramas this (ruling) class used to enact before assuming power. People still remember how these people used to shed crocodile tears, and vehemently criticise the then rulers for launching crackdown on the resistance leadership. Now, PDP itself proved that there is not an iota of difference between the Sheikh and Mufti families as both are servants of New Delhi.”
“These people have forgotten everything – the big promises of starting the double currency, self-rule, and dialogue with the resistance leadership,” he said.
He said PDP by entering into “unholy” alliance with BJP has proven its government to be the most “useless” and “selfish” one as “for power it turned the whole State into a virtual jail”.
He also condemned the continuous arrest of leaders, district presidents, and activists of various resistance parties saying, “This is nothing but the frustration of the so-called government which should instead compete with us on a political platform,” Meanwhile, in a separate statement issued here, DFP chairman Shabir Ahmad Shah expressed deep grief over the demise of prominent religious scholar Moulana Abdul Hye Shopiani who was the brother of Moulana Abdul Qayoom Shopiani and cousin of party’s secretary general Moulana Abdullah Tari.
Expressing condolence and solidarity with the bereaved family and Moulana Tari, Shah said, “This family has rendered great services in the religious and literary fields besides contributed a lot in upholding the values of Tawheed and Sunnah in the State of Jammu Kashmir.”
A party delegation led by Moulana Bashir Ahmad visited the bereaved family and extended Shah’s condolence and solidarity with them.

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