SRINAGAR: In a bid to show their strength, pro- India parties are risking the lives of their supporters, who are seen hanging by the doors and waving flags atop crowded vehicles during road shows and rallies in Kashmir.
The latest example of this was witnessed Saturday when senior Peoples Demo¬cratic Party leader Syed Altaf Bukhari submitted his nomi¬nation papers from the Amira Kadal assembly constituency. Bukhari, an influential busi¬nessman, was joined by doz¬ens of his supporters, includ¬ing a good number of women in a cavalcade that passed through different parts of the city before reaching deputy commissioner’s office. The charged PDP supporters most¬ly youth had climbed rooftops of the vehicles and besides wav¬ing party flags, were shouting slogans, to appease him.
“This is madness. This dem¬onstrates their careless attitude. To show their superiority, their strength, the pro-India parties are risking lives of our youth. This is political opportunism,” Abdur Rashid, a retired teacher, told Kashmir Reader.
A visibly angry Rashid said that in past, many precious lives have been lost in rallies and road shows organized by the political parties. He said it was surprising to see the state administration missing when politicians where taking entire populace hostage with their rallies and road shows.
“Isn’t it a violation when boys stand over moving ve¬hicles and wave flags of pro- India parties? Why is traffic police ignoring these viola¬tions? Who will take the re¬sponsibility if any accident happens?” he said.
Not only PDP, but other pro-India parities, like Na¬tional Conference and the In¬dian National Congress (INC) are also leaving no stone unturned to show their su¬premacy in the political bat¬tle. Surprisingly, the political bigwigs like Abdullah’s and Mufti’s are also setting prec¬edence in this.
“The pro-India parties are driving their workers like cat¬tle. The workers are boarded in cars and cabs in hoards and the leftovers occupy the roof. We do understand the enthu¬siasm of the workers, but how can their leaders turn a blind eye to the grave consequences which these road shows can have?” Mohammad Altaf Khan, a businessman said.
Acknowledging that the safety measures are not met in the road shows, PDP’s media advisor, Nayeema Akhter said that human life is precious and it should not be wasted.
“It’s risky if people climb the rooftops of moving vehi¬cles during road shows. I will convey this concern to the leadership so that no unfortu¬nate incident takes place. We will also put a note of caution on our website,” she said.
NC spokesperson, Junaid Azim Matoo said that it was “difficult to control thousands of enthusiastic supporters dur¬ing the road shows.”
“The party will ask the leadership not to put the work¬ers at risk,” he said.
“At our organizational level, we will ensure that the safety standards are adhered to, and no one is subjected to risks,” he said.
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Rohit Kansal told Kashmir Reader that he will take up the issue with deputy commissioners and ask them to take it up with the leaders of the political parties.
“We will take note of these road shows. We will issue an advisory for the safety of the people. No one’s life should be put to jeopardy,” he added.