Cong prevented from addressing press conference, leaders detained

PCC chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma being dragged out by cops during press conference at Cong office in Jammu on Friday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
PCC chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma being dragged out by cops during press conference at Cong office in Jammu on Friday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

* PCC chief placed under house- arrest in Jammu

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Aug 16: J&K Pradesh Congress unit was today prevented from addressing a press conference by the Police authorities as its chief spokesperson, Ravinder Sharma and another leader, were forcibly taken out from the venue and detained while they were about to speak to the media-persons at party headquarters Shahidi Chowk here this afternoon.
The incident took place at around 4.10 pm when Sharma was about to address press conference at Congress party hall at first floor of the complex. Entire media including local and national TV channel correspondents and camera-persons, were at the venue along with their equipments.

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Then suddenly, some police men in Khaki led by a Sub Inspector appeared at the press conference venue and asked Ravinder Sharma to accompany him as the senior officers wanted to talk to him. Sharma resisted and asked that he is going to address the waiting media and there after he would definitely accompany them. But he was forcibly taken away from the venue, made to sit in police jeep and then taken to Pir Mitha Police Station along with PCC secretary, Neeraj Gupta. They both have been detained at the Police Station.
Later, talking to the Excelsior, PCC chief spokesperson said that Section 144 has been totally lifted in Jammu and the Government is claiming total normalcy here. Congress, party is not involved in any unlawful activities. Then why, the party leaders have been prevented from talking to media and project their view point. Are we living in democratic country? Even during the time of Emergency in the country, there were no such restrictions. The BJP Govt was trying to gag the voice of opposition parties. It is attack on the freedom of speech and expression of the people,” PCC chief spokesperson alleged.
Meanwhile, PCC chief G A Mir was placed under house arrest at his home in Greater Kailash area of Jammu this afternoon. The restrictions have been imposed on his movement within and outside J&K.
Talking to the Excelsior, Mir said that he was here in Jammu for the last two days. Today, afternoon, suddenly a police party along with an officer arrived his home and told that he has been placed under house arrest. He said that Government was trying to silence the voice of opposition parties. Without any unlawful activity and offence, the administration was trying to victimize them which is totally illegal, unfair and unjustified in democratic India. He condemned the such activities and said that voice of people is being gagged by BJP.
Senior Congress leaders have strongly condemned the action of the State administration on PCC president, G A Mir, chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma along with PCC secretary Neeraj Gupta.
They described it as a mockery of democracy and a state of undeclared emergency that the official spokesman of the party was arrested while addressing the press conference inside the party headquarters. They said it occured first time in the history of the State. administration at one hand claimed total normalcy and removal of all the restrictions in Jammu and at the same time, mainstream political leaders got barred to raise their genuine voice.
Signatory to the statement are- Tara Chand, Madan Lal Sharma, Mula Ram, Kanta Bhan, Th Balwan Singh, Rajnish Sharma, Jugal Kishore, Yogesh Sawhney, Ch. Shah Mohammad, Manmohan Singh, Dr Manohar Lal Sharma, Indu Pawar, Manjit Singh, Vikram Malhotra, Hari Singh Chib, Udey Chib, Narinder Sharma, Pranav Shagotra, Suresh Dogra, Mohd Iqbal Dar, Ch Gharu Ram, Gourav Chopra, Satish Sharma, Ch Sukh Dev, Rajveer Singh, Rajeev Saraf, and Dr RK Khajuria.