JAMMU, Dec 31: Jammu and Kashmir Congress president, Ghulam Ahmed Mir, party vice president Raman Bhalla, former Dy Chief Minister Tara Chand and PYC president, Uday Bhanu Chib were placed under house arrest this morning ahead of their planned visit to Udhampur, Ramban and South Kashmir.
Mir along with former Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand and former Minister Raman Bhalla were placed under house arrest here this morning, JKPCC chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said.
He said several other former legislators, Ministers and youth leaders including Varinder Singh Chib and Kapil Singh were also directed not to move out of their houses by police. Police officials were not immediately available for a confirmation.
Later, talking to Excelsior Mir said, ” We had decided to visit Udhampur and Ramban to hold interactions with the party leaders and workers and South Kashmir as well and they had also sent a formal request to the Government. We were granted permission for the same. But this morning, when we were supposed to leave for the visit, police arrived at my house and also in the houses of other leaders. They told us that we are under house arrest,” Mir maintained.
A party delegation under his leadership was supposed to visit different areas including Udhampur, Ramban, Banihal and South Kashmir to interact with party workers, he said.
“Police and Government should have sent a formal letter to us for denial of permission, when we had written to them,” he said.
Condemning the administration for the action, Sharma said “on the one hand, the Government is making claims of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir and on the other they are not allowing the opposition to undertake political activity. Their claim of normalcy is hollow.”
“One fails to understand why BJP leaders are allowed to move freely, while curbs are being put on the opposition to keep them away from the public,” he said.
Meanwhile, strongly condemning the house arrest of GA Mir, Tara Chand and Raman Bhalla besides restrictions on the movement of some other leaders today early morning, Congress has questioned the claims of normalcy of the Government, besides blaming the Government of denying opposition the opportunity to reach out to the people.
Briefing media persons at Party office here this afternoon, PCC chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma flanked by PCC general secretaries, Th Balwan Singh(Ex-MLA), Manmohan Singh, Shah Mohd Choudhary Advocate, Chairman PCC Legal Cell Advocate KK Pangotra and DCC president Jammu Vikram Malhotra said that top PCC leadership has been put under house arrest following a written communication to the Government on Monday to allow a delegation of senior leaders to visit parts of Jammu Province and then to Kashmir valley to meet and interact with party workers.
Sharma said, yesterday, the party forwarded a written communication to the concerned authorities in the administration about the proposed visit today headed by PCC chief. The delegation had to interact at Udhampur, Ramban and at Banihal today and leave for Anantnag and Srinagar from Banihal tomorrow after night halt at Banihal, today.
The PCC chief was late in the evening given indication that they can go ahead with tour but early in the morning they were put under house arrest and their security drivers were recalled. Some other leaders of the delegation and young leaders were kept under watch regarding their movement in the wake of detention of these leaders instead of giving permission and providing proper security for visit, they were put under house arrest.
The Congress leaders questioned the claims of the Government about the situation and said that opposition is being denied facilities to carry out routine political activities even in Jammu province. The result of seeking permission to visit some parts, is the house arrest, they said, blaming the Government of being biased towards opposition.
Congress leaders also forcefully raised the issue of rights of local youth in the jobs in Jammu and Kashmir and said that the BJP has befooled the youth of J&K, who were being promised legal and constitutional safeguards in the government jobs besides 50,000 Govt jobs by December 2019. It proved to be a fake and bluff and recent Govt advertisement for jobs has exposed the hollow claims and promises of BJP. The Congress party leaders sought Constitutional guarantees for the unemployed youth in the jobs.