Ex-CMs, MPs unlikely to attend Independence Day function in Jammu and Kashmir

Covering all flanks: BSF men patrol the Chenab on Independence Day eve at Akhnoor.

Covering all flanks: BSF men patrol the Chenab on Independence Day eve at Akhnoor.

Former Chief Ministers and the local MPs are unlikely to attend the first-ever Independence Day celebrations in J&K after its special status was revoked on August 5, as the current dispensation has put in place stringent security measures for celebrations in all districts.

Asked if the regional party leaders, including incarcerated National Conference president and Srinagar MP Farooq Abdullah and two former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, would be allowed to attend the function in Srinagar, J&K government spokesman Rohit Kansal avoided a direct answer.

Careful analysis

“Any decision on this is taken only after careful analysis. The local assessment [of law and order] is also incorporated,” Mr. Kansal said.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Khan has prepared the list of invitees, which, sources said, includes the regional leaders and three local MPs of the NC.

However, the police are unlikely to release any mainstream leader on the occasion.

The NC’s two other MPs, Hasnain Masoodi and Akbar Lone, are avoiding travel to J&K since the revocation of the special status.

“Only those invitees whose list is prepared by the Divisional Commissioner will be allowed to attend the I-Day celebrations,” Additional Director-General of Police Syed Mujtaba Javaid Gillani said.

Nearly 250 regional leaders have either been detained or put under house arrest.

The main function will be held at the Sher-i-Kashmir Park here where Governor Satya Pal Malik will hoist the tricolour. The government plans to hold such functions at all district and sub district levels.

Additional deployments and drone surveys of the venue had been completed to ward off any militant attack. “All preparations are complete,” Mr. Kansal said.

‘Situation improving’

The authorities said the overall situation in Kashmir had remained calm “due to which the government has further relaxed the prohibitory orders”.

Mr. Gillani said only two persons were injured during street protests and were admitted to the hospitals here.

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Printable version | Oct 5, 2022 2:12:45 pm |