Mufti’s cavalcade attacked with stones in Shopian, several vehicles damaged

SHABIR AHMAD
Anantnag: Former Chief Minister and People’s Democratic Party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s motorcade was on Thursday attacked with stones by angry youths in Shopian town, forcing him to take shelter in a police camp.
Eyewitness said the cavalcade of Mufti, who was campaigning for his daughter and party candidate for Anantnag parliamentary seat, Mehbooba Mufti, in the area came under attack near Meemandar from the youth who were shouting anti-India and pro-azadi slogans.
Mufti had organized road shows at different places in the district including Tahab, Sedav, Nowgam and Pinjoora and was on way back to Srinagar. However, on reaching near Meemandar, his party workers stopped him and insisted him to address the people there.
“As the cavalcade stopped and Mufti was about to come out of his vehicle some youth pelted stones. At least three vehicles including the security vehicle suffered damage in stone pelting,” eyewitnesses said, adding that the PDP patron and his associates had to take refuge in a police camp at Gagran.
They said the stone-pelting led to chaos as the police burst few tear smoke shells in the town where a shutdown was also observed in view of Sayeed’s scheduled election rally there.
PDP youth leader Wahid-u-Rehman Parra confirmed the attack on their cavalcade but added that nobody was hurt in the incident.
“Glass panes of our several vehicles were damaged but thank God nobody was injured,” Rehman said. He blamed the ruling National Conference for trying to enforce boycott.
“The announcement asking the people not to allow the PDP to organize road shows in the area had been made on Wednesday evening. Besides, posters calling for boycott were pasted everywhere in the area. So we suspect the hand of NC in the attack. The party is trying to enforce boycott by resorting to such tactics,” said Rehman, adding that “boycott always benefits the party so they are trying to ensure it.”
DIG south Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, said that “some miscreants pelted few stones resulting in damage to one vehicle.”
“All the security arrangements had been put in place. Even SP and ASP were themselves escorting the PDP leader. However near Meemandar some youth pelted few stones. It was a minor incident,” Kumar insisted.
Earlier, one BJP worker was injured after the party’s vehicles on campaigning in the area were attacked with stones in Shopian town. Glass panes of two vehicles were damaged in the attack. A police official confirming the incident said that it was a minor incident.