NC, PDP hold maiden meetings, demand release of detainees

Jammu/Srinagar: National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party on Monday held separate meetings in Srinagar first time after the abrogation of Article 370 in August.
The NC passed two resolutions condemning the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and demanding immediate release of the detained political leaders and civil society members in Kashmir. Similarly, the PDP sought immediate release of all detained political leaders, including its president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.
NC spokesperson Imran Dar said that the party’s provincial body held a meeting at the NC headquarters, Nawah-i-Subah.
He said the meeting was chaired by NC provincial secretary, Kashmir, Showkat Ahmad.
During the meeting, Ahmad also took stock of the prevailing situation in the region, the spokesperson added.
The party passed two resolutions demanding immediate release of all detained civil society members and political leaders, including former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, and condemning passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, he said.
In the resolutions, the party also criticised “the violence in Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University,” and the attempts of “marginalising” the Muslim community, the NC spokesperson said.
He said some NC office bearers have been frequently meeting at the party headquarters over the past few weeks
In Jammu, the meeting was presided over by PDP general secretary and former MLC Surinder Chowdhary who termed the prolonged incarceration of politicians in Jammu and Kashmir as “unjustified and uncalled for”, a party spokesperson said.
“The prolonged incarceration is deeply perturbing for any democratic setup and the government of India must contemplate that such an action is not helping it in any way in restoration of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir,” the spokesman said quoting Chowdhary.
Highlighting the role of the PDP in making peace initiatives successful in the erstwhile state, Chowdhary said the party has always been at the forefront in making hectic and earnest efforts for the prevalence of peace in the region.
“The detention of the political leaders has created a void in erstwhile state’s political landscape, leaving masses deeply disturbed and skeptic about the government’s future initiatives for peace and development,” Chowdhary said.
The PDP general secretary also empathized for the greater participation of party workers in the January 7 function so that “a clear message is sent out to those corridors which are waiting in the wings to undermine PDP’s relevance in Jammu and Kashmir’s political spectrum”.
The spokesman said the meeting passed a unanimous resolution and underlined the need for setting the political leaders including the PDP president free without any further delay.
A similar meeting was held at PDP’s Srinagar head office in which senior party leaders and activists including party secretary Abdul Hameed Kosheen and former legislator Mushtaq Ahmad Shah took part and expressed concern over the detention of the political leadership.
The meeting termed the detention of the leaders as “unwarranted, unjustified and unfavourable” for all the peace efforts and confidence building measures that have been taken in the past, the spokesperson said.
He said the participants also held detailed discussions over the preparations being made to ensure hassle-free participation of the PDP supporters, workers and the general masses in the congregational ‘Fateha Khawani’ at the graveyard of the PDP founder in south Kashmir’s Bijbehara town on January 7.
PDP leader Tahir Syed said, “Basically, the meeting, the first since abrogation of Article 370, was called to discuss the party’s preparations for the fourth death anniversary of former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on January 7.”
He said the zonal in-charges of the party, who are not under detention, attended the meeting.
During the meeting, it was decided that a team of party leaders would visit Bijbehara in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on January 7 to offer special prayers at Sayeed’s mausoleum.
“A small function will also be held at the party head office,” he said.
Syed said the meeting also took stock of the situation in the valley post the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
“The meeting condemned the illegal detentions of the party leaders and called for their immediate release. It also demanded immediate restoration of the internet services in the valley,” he said.
The PDP leader said the workers and party leaders were in high spirits and decided that the future course of action would be decided after the release of the party leadership.
The party has decided to initiate contact with the party workers at the ground level, he added.
The participants also raised concern over the paucity of essential services in Kashmir valley amid the present winter chill and urged the administration to pay heed to sufferings of the people at an earliest. PTI

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