Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday sought the intervention of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha against the alleged forcible eviction of her party leaders, including former legislators, from their government quarters. Mehbooba alleged that the administration is selectively targeting PDP leaders and made them vacate their official residences in Srinagar without providing any alternate accommodation.
The former chief minister warned that she would hold the Lt Governor administration responsible if anything untoward happens with them. I am deeply concerned by the manner in which the administration is selectively targeting PDP leaders and ex-MLAs. At a time when militancy is on the rise yet again, they have been made to vacate their official residences in Srinagar without providing any alternate accommodation, Mehbooba said in a letter addressed to Sinha.
She said what makes matters worse is that even after the repeated requests of the party leaders to grant them security in villages where they originally reside, these requests have been declined. The state administration has cited the presence of militants for their refusal to provide security. But the same administration has no qualms in evicting them from secure government accommodations in Srinagar and deliberately putting them in harm's way, the PDP chief said in her communication.
In an apparent reference to the killing of newly elected panchayati and urban local bodies representatives in the Valley, Mehbooa said it is no secret that in recent times we have witnessed how elected representatives have been targeted and even killed since they are soft targets especially when they are not provided with adequate security. Let me also bring to your notice that the former MLA from PDP Zahoor Mir has been a victim of militancy himself. His father (former MLA Abdul Aziz Mir) was shot dead by militants (December 2002), the PDP leader said.
She said, In such circumstances I find it surprising and extremely distressing that while on one hand there is a section of new politicians who are given all kinds of facilities including security to facilitate their movement throughout J-K. But on the other hand, members of PDP are treated with utter disdain and contempt. It is almost as if the administration is intentionally putting their lives at risk.
Seeking the intervention of the Lt Governor to take corrective steps immediately, Mehbooba said she would like to place it on record that if anything untoward happens to any of my party men, I would hold this administration responsible.