Srinagar: Slamming the ruling National Conference and opposition People’s Democratic Party for “facilitating the arrests of hundreds of youth across Kashmir,” chairman of his faction of the People’s Conference, Sajad Gani Lone, on Tuesday said that elections cannot be made an excuse to make a mockery of the rights of the youth .
Lone while campaigning in north Kashmir’s Baramulla–Kupwara parliamentary segment said if NC and PDP cannot excite people enough or attract them to come out and vote, why should the poor youths have to suffer for that?
“Boycott of polls is a political and democratic concept not a military concept. And it falls within the rights of any individual in any democratic society to not vote and to propagate boycott. Boycott need not necessarily be linked to boycott calls. The parties contesting elections need to look within and introspect. If they cannot excite people enough or attract people enough to come out and vote, why should the poor youths have to suffer for that,” a statement quoted Lone as saying.
Lone said there is “unambiguous evidence that both PDP and the NC have made requests for arrest of youths.”
“The government cannot and should not arrest youths who in most of the cases are from poor families and do not have the means to legally defend themselves,” he said.
Lone said it is time that the political institutions spell out whether there is a separate set of rules for conduct of elections in the state of J & K.
The PC chairman said the Election Commission of India ECI obsessed of a high voter turnout seems to have decided to turn a blind eye to the grave issue of arrests.
“The police version is taken as divine version by the ECI observers and hence there is no intervention,” Lone said, adding “Our District president for Baramulla Asif Lone met the election observers and requested them to look into the cases of these arrests in Baramulla district, but no action was taken”.