Hundreds of National Conference (NC) workers, led by senior party leader Ali Muhammad Sagar, on Thursday staged a protest march against the civilian killings and price hike in the state.
The march began from the Nawa-e-Subh complex housing the party headquarters in Srinagar and the protesters were heading towards the Governor’s House. However, as the protestors tried to move ahead a contingent of police stopped the procession near Ram Munshi Bagh police station and thwarted the move of the NC workers to reach the Governor House.
During the protests, over a dozen protesters, including Salman Sagar, were detained by the police.
The protestors were raising anti-government slogans and denounced the killings, price hike and repeated curfews in Old City Srinagar.
The protest march led by NC General Secretary and MLA Khanyar Ali Mohammad Sagar included women party workers including MLA Habba Kadal, Shamim Firdous.
The workers carrying placards said that the protest has been staged to protest the government moves to “abrogate Article 370 in J&K state.”
During the protest march, a senior police official was injured while preventing the protesting NC workers to move towards Raj Bhavan.
“In the protest rally, a women worker of NC was holding a placard in her hand which hit a police official’s forehead leaving him injured. The placard had a nail attached to it which resulted in injuries to the police official. Blood was oozing out from his forehead amid the protest rally,” said an eyewitness.
Meanwhile, the protestors later distributed copies of the memorandum which they had planned to hand over to the Governor N N Vojhra.
The memorandum slammed the government over “deteriorating situation in the state in general and Srinagar in particular.”
“Through this memorandum, we MLA s, MLC’s, in charge assembly segment, district president Srinagar, Youth National conference, Women’s wing express our displeasure over deteriorating situation in the state in general and Srinagar in particular,” read the memorandum which NC was not allowed to submit to the Governor.
The party in its memo has also highlighted the frequent curfew and restrictions being imposed in Srinagar and other areas besides imposing ban on internet and social media.
“There is not a single day when curfew and restrictions are not imposed in one or the other area. Time and again curbs on internet are being ordered which is a breach of fundamental rights of the people and affects business, education and private sector,” it reads.
It has also highlighted the recent civilian killings and forces personnel who got killed in encounters and other incidents.
“Not a single day passes without killing of civilians and soldiers defending the state against terrorism. This has led to the atmosphere of uncertainty and ambiguity in valley in particular,” reads the memo distributed by the NC workers during their protest rally.
The party also castigated the present dispensation over indiscriminate arrests and nocturnal raids being carried out by JK police and other forces.
“Indiscriminate arrests and night raids in populated areas has become a normal routine causing sense of fear among masses and has led to a traumatic situation for the youth,” it reads.
“Excessive force is being used on protestors and demonstrators by using pellet guns and other artillery as if it is a war experiment by the armed forces on innocent civilians.”
The party in its memorandum also accused the government of encouraging corruption by making backdoor appointments in various government departments.
“Backdoor appointments has become order of the day and is killing merit besides causing mistrust in the government institutions . It also intensifies vast corruption and unemployment,” it reads.
The opposition NC in its memo also raised the issue of increased rates of day to commodities, which according to the party are breaking the back of the common man.
“Price of Sugar, Rice and other basic requirements of survival are touching the sky and thus breaks the commoners back, especially the underprivileged sections of the society,” reads the contents of the memorandum.
“The Government has waged a war against its own people and JKNC, the major opposition party and as constructive opposition, cannot neglect such situation. The present situation demands a protest against the unacceptable, unjustified and unethical policies of the government,” the memorandum said.
“Thus as a representation of public view we put forward these demands before the authorities so that the common man gets some relief,” the memorandum reads.