Admn disallows PDP to hold youth convention, Mehbooba put under house arrest 

Inputs of IEDs, says Police

Fayaz Bukhari

SRINAGAR, Dec 12: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was today placed under house arrest to prevent her from addressing party youth convention at Gupkar here.
Click here to watch video 
Mehbboba said that she was prevented from moving outside and was placed under house arrest. She was scheduled to chair a meeting of its youth leaders and activists at 11 a.m at her residence in Gupkar, Srinagar.
However, an order issued by an Executive Magistrate denied the permission for holding such meeting. “In view of the report received by the office of Senior Superintendent of Police, Srinagar, and COVID-19 restrictions in place, it is hereby ordered that the scheduled youth conference that is to be held by PDP at Gupkar is hereby not allowed,” the order read.
The order directed the Station House Officer, Ram Munshi Bagh, to ensure that “no such event takes place at Gupkar without permission of the competent authority”.
Some PDP workers protested against the denial by administration to hold the youth convention.
Expressing her ire at the decision, Mehbooba in a video message accused the authorities of suppressing the voice of the youth over the last three years.
Mehbooba appealed the youth to continue their mission for development, peace and tranquility in Jammu and Kashmir without being afraid.
“The reason they have turned you away from my door is because they are petrified of your voice and what it can achieve. You were prevented from reaching me today but this makes us more determined to remain steadfast on our mission of peace with dignity,” the PDP tweeted.
In the meantime, police later said that it was not “advisable” to hold any public gathering in high security Gupkar area here amid inputs about “vehicle bound IEDs being used to target civilians and security establishments”.
“It was learnt that PDP was scheduled to hold a Youth Convention at Fairview, a Government bungalow which is also the residence of Mehbooba Mufti, on Gupkar Road”, a police spokesperson said here. He added that a gathering of at least 1000 people was expected.
“Given the prevalent COVID situation and larger security implications resulting from allowing such a large number of people and accompanying cars and vehicles into a high security zone, it was not advisable to allow such a large flow of people and unchecked vehicles”, the statement read.
He said there were “credible inputs of vehicle bound IEDs being used to target civilians and high security installations.”
“The Gupkar Road houses high security buildings of various organisations and security sensitive establishments and intelligence agencies. Allowing large number of vehicles to be parked in this high security zone would have jeopardised security in the area. It is pertinent to mention here that no such gatherings and amassing of vehicles were allowed on the road earlier too”, the statement read.
Moreover, he said, no official residence has been known to have hosted large political rallies on Gupkar Road in the recent past.
“Legal Orders for necessary restrictions on the convention were passed by the Executive Magistrate, South Srinagar keeping in mind the COVID protocol and security sensitiveness of Gupkar zone,” he said, adding, “it is completely incorrect that Mehbooba Mufti is under house arrest”.
The spokesman further said, local administration had advised PDP to apply for holding this convention in a more open area in view of COVID-19 and security reasons.