National

Mehbooba’s daughter claims she was ‘detained’

Policemen checking vehicles amid the controversy over the detaining of Iltija Mufti on Thursday.

Policemen checking vehicles amid the controversy over the detaining of Iltija Mufti on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Iltija Mufti says she was not allowed to leave her Srinagar residence to visit grandfather’s grave

Iltija Mufti, daughter of the former chief minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti, on Thursday alleged that she had been detained in her Srinagar residence and barred from visiting the graveyard where her grandfather Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is buried. The police, however, said she had not followed the protocol laid down for Special Security Group (SSG) protectees.

“I informed the SSG around 11.30 a.m. about my intention to visit the graveyard of my grandfather in south Kahsmir’s Bijbehara,” said Ms. Mufti. “I was told I cannot as the director SSG had passed such orders. I was thereafter detained and not allowed to step out of my home. I offered to drive in a private vehicle, which was also declined,” Ms. Mufti, who has been a vocal face for the detained PDP leader since the revocation of J&K’s special status and who also runs her mother’s Twitter handle, told The Hindu.

Ms. Mufti, who has been in the Valley for more than a week now, said she had not been provided with any formal order regarding her detention or on the restrictions. “I will move the court in case of any formal orders. So far, I am told that I am supposed to inform the SSG beforehand about the place where I plan to visit and seek permission from the district magistrate first. This only reflects that nothing is normal in Kashmir as is being claimed,” the detained PDP leader’s younger daughter asserted.

Sources said Ms. Mufti had met her incarcerated mother during her latest stay in the Valley. “The authorities could have easily moved my mother to her house and kept her there,” she said. “However, the prolonged detention of the entire political leadership in Kashmir is aimed at breaking them emotionally,” Ms. Mufti asserted.

She alleged that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) was directly handling the detentions of the political leaders and their releases. “There are a few officers here who are working on creation of the third front. Many local officers have their own axe to grind and are high on new-found power,” she added.

Ms. Mufti said she feared the family may not be allowed to visit the grave of Sayeed, whose fourth death anniversary falls on January 7, to pay their respect.

SSG Director Muneer Khan said Ms. Mufti was an SSG protectee and did not follow the protocol. “It’s a lie she was detained,” asserted Mr. Khan. “At very short notice [she] suggested she was visiting Bijbehara. It requires permission from the local authorities too. So we decided to stop her here,” said the police official, who also serves as the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Law and Order.

Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan said the fixed-line broadband service in 80 health institutions in the Valley had been completely restored on Thursday.

“SMS services on mobile services other than BSNL shall also be restored till Thursday evening,” said Mr. Khan.

The J&K administration, however, missed its own timetable on the restoration of SMS service on postpaid connections. The services were to be restored on December 31. However, many cellular companies claimed formal orders were issued very late and the companies were given short notice to uplink the system. As of Thursday, only BSNL’s postpaid subscribers were able to send and receive text messages.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 1:49:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mehboobas-daughter-claims-she-was-detained/article30463662.ece

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