Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and former Cabinet Minister Naeem Akhtar was evicted from his official residence in Srinagar’s Gupkar Road on Thursday.
“Officials of the Estates Department arrived at the residence around 11 a.m. and put me on a notice to leave by 4 p.m. It was just a five-hour notice. I told them we are in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic and I have just my wife and daughter to help me pack up. But they made it clear that if I fail to move out, then they may use other means,” Mr. Akhtar told The Hindu .
Mr. Akhtar, a close aide of incarcerated PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, was released on June 18 from a sub-jail in Srinagar. Mr. Akhtar, who served as a Cabinet Minister in the PDP-BJP alliance government, was arrested on August 5 last year when the Centre revoked J&K special status, and was later booked under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).
“I was singled out and targeted because I refused to sign the bond of silence,” Mr. Akhtar said.
The PDP leader has escaped two attempts on his life since 2016. His house was attacked with a petrol bomb in 2016. “The irony is that I am told I am under house arrest, though I now have no house to stay. This administration is aware of the threat to me and my family,” Mr. Akhtar said after he vacated the house.
Meanwhile, the J&K administration has allotted a fresh government accommodations to the leaders of the recently-floated J&K Apni Party (JKAP) in Srinagar.