Other States

2 NC leaders, including MP’s son, arrested

Two National Conference (NC) leaders, including the son of Member Parliament (MP) Akbar Lone, were arrested in Kashmir on Friday for their “likely bid to commit a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquillity”, just days after three close aides of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti were held on similar charges.

“Two NC leaders and three PDP leaders have been detained under Section 107 and Section 151 of the CrPC. Two were arrested on Friday,” Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar told The Hindu.

The Sections under which the leaders were arrested is based on the information that “a person is likely to commit a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquillity” and is a preventive detention “to prevent the commission of cognisable offence”.

The arrested leaders included NC leader Hilal Lone, the Baramulla MP’s son, from central Kashmir’s Bandipora district and Shabir Ahmed Kullay.

“Kullay was arrested on Thursday after he had led a DDC member to meet the party high command,” said an NC spokesman.

According to the NC, another leader Showkat Ganai, an ex-legislator of the NC, was also arrested three days ago from Shopian in south Kashmir.

Mr. Lone was arrested by the local police when he was on the way from Srinagar to Naidkhai in Bandipora, the family said.

Mr. Lone was later shifted to the huge complex of the Srinagar MLA Hostel, which was converted into a sub-jail after the August 5 move to end J&K’s special status. Mr. Lone’s supporters held a protest in Srinagar against the move.

Police sources said Mr. Lone had made speeches on beef and other “touchy” issues during the District Development Council (DDC) polls. He was earlier arrested in the clampdown on the mainstream leaders on August 4 last year.

The police had also arrested Ms. Mufti’s uncle and ex-J&K assembly deputy speaker Sartaj Madani; ex-minister Naeem Akhtar and ex-legislator Peer Mansoor, a day before the counting of DDC votes on December 22. Mr. Akhtar, considered close to Ms. Mufti, was put in solitary confinement in the Srinagar MLA Hostel.

“We are reliving the August 5 crackdown. In the harsh winter, my ailing father was picked up late in the evening and lodged in solitary confinement,” Mr. Akhtar’s daughter Shehryar Khanum said.

Condemning the arrests, the NC spokesman said, “The results of the DDC elections were loud and clear that it was democracy that had triumphed. Failing to make any mark in the recently concluded DDC polls, the powers that be are now resorting to witch-hunting and undue intimidation of political leaders.”

The fresh arrests came just a day after Farooq Abdullah, head of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration and the amalgam’s spokesman Sajad Lone appealed to the J&K administration to release all detained leaders “if the government wanted democracy to survive in J&K”.

NC vice-president Omar Abdullah, while referring to the arrests, said, “The J&K police and the administration are facilitating horse trading and defections. A woman, joining the BJP’s B-team [in a reference to Apni Party], contested and won elections on a NC mandate.”

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 2:42:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/2-nc-leaders-including-mps-son-arrested/article33419169.ece

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