SRINAGAR: Police on Thursday detained dozens of Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) activists while they were staging protest demonstrations against the continuous detention of party’s chairman, Shabir Ahmad Shah, in Lal Chowk here.
A DFP spokesperson, in a statement issued here, said police detained several activists of the party including Mukhtar Ahmad Sofi, Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh, Peer Inayatullah and Muhammad Yousuf.
Condemning the arrests, the spokesperson said, “The real leadership of state is deliberately put behind bars and their political activities have been banned. Police by arresting the youths through continuous nocturnal raids is pushing them to the wall and playing with their career. There is nothing like democracy in J&K and people are suffocated by the ‘gun rule’.”
Terming the continuous detention of Shabir Ahmad Shah as “unjustified”, he said authorities have turned the whole state into a “virtual jail”.
Giving details of Shah’s detention, he said, “In 2016, Shah Sahib was kept under house arrest for 56 days and since February 24 continues to be lodged in Rajbagh police station. The state administration has no justification for such illegal detention.”
Meanwhile, according to statement, during the protest, DFP’s senior leader, Advocate Fayaz Ahmad Sodagar, while talking to media termed Shah’s arrest as “undemocratic” saying “Authorities cannot yield anything by such arrests and the freedom movement will continue.”
“Such suppressive measures don’t scare us. People are committed to the freedom movement and our youths are sacrificing their lives for the cause,” he said.
He also condemned the continuous house arrest of National Front chairman, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Peer Hafizullah and continuous imprisonment of SAR Geelani and several pro-freedom leaders including Masarat Alam Bhat, Dr Muhammad Qasim Faktoo, Muhammad Shafi Shariati, Ghulam Qadir, Feroz Ahmad, Noor Muhammad and various activists who are languishing in various state and outside jails.
The spokesperson also paid tributes to slain militants of Awantipora who were killed in a gunfight with government forces on Wednesday.