PDP office sealed as its leaders take to the streets to protest against the new land law in Kashmir

Published : October 29, 2020 15:10 IST

Mehbooba Mufti addresses the media at her Gupkar residence on October 29. Photo: Mehbooba Mufti's Twitter

The Jammu and Kashmir administration sealed the office of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Srinagar after its party leaders took to the streets to protest against the Centre’s new land law. Several top-rung leaders of the party were arrested or they courted arrest.

Mehbooba Mufti, PDP president and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, took to Twitter to vent her outrage at the forceful curbing of what she described as a “peaceful protest”. She tweeted: “PDP office in Srinagar sealed by J&K admin & workers arrested for organising a peaceful protest. A similar protest was allowed in Jammu so why was it thwarted here? Is this your definition of ‘normalcy’ that’s being showcased in the world?”

When Mehbooba went to meet her party’s detained leaders at the police station she was stopped by the police midway and asked to return. She later addressed mediapersons at her Gupkar Road residence in Srinagar. “We will continue to raise our voice collectively and won’t tolerate attempts to change demographics. A government desperate to curb any kind of dissent and ready to crush its own people but all the machismo disappears when it comes to fighting China at the LAC,” she said.

The PDP leaders who were arrested were Suhail Bukhari, Waheed Para, Khursheed Alam, Tahir Sayeed, Mohin Qayoom, Yasir Bhat, Rauf Bhat and Hamid Kohsheen. Tahir Sayeed was allegedly manhandled by the police.

The Centre’s new land law, notified on October 27, allows anyone living outside Jammu and Kashmir to purchase land in the Union Territory. Mainstream leaders have described the move as throwing open Jammu and Kashmir for sale. They allege that this is being done by the government to alter the demographics of the erstwhile State.

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