Srinagar | WTNS | August 5: Authorities on Wednesday imposed curfew-like restrictions in Valley as the Union Territory marked the first anniversary of abrogation of Article 370 and 35(A). Several political leaders and activists were detained to thwart any protest while a “crucial meeting” called by NC President Dr Farooq Abdullah at his residence was also disallowed. However several PDP activists staged protest demonstration in Srinagar and avowed to continue its fight for restoration of special status of J&K till last breath.
Barricades and other impediments were erected at several locations in Srinagar and other parts of Valley while concertina wires have been laid to block several vital roads including Gupkar where NC President Dr Farooq Abdullah had called a “crucial meeting” with other political parties to deliberate upon the political mess across J&K and chalk out the future plans regarding the retrieval of Article 370.
As per reports several headquarters of mainstream political parties were sealed and leaders were kept under house detention to thwart any major untoward ahead of first anniversary of abrogation of Article 370. Authorities had on Monday announced strict curfew in Srinagar district in view of inputs about violent protests endangering lives of people as separatists and Pakistan sponsored groups were planning to observe August 5 as Black Day. However the curfew was later on curtailed for a day and Covid-19 lockdown was extended as usual.
Several political leaders while talking to KNS said that they were not allowed to step out from their residences as cops deputed there closed down their main gates. They also said that party headquarters including NC (Gupkar), PDP (Polo-view), Congress (MA Road) and others were completely sealed.
However several PDP leaders and activists succeeded in reaching Lal Chowk where they staged a protest against the decisions taken on August 5 last year. A group led by party youth leader Arif Laigaroo while talking to Media termed the abrogation of Article 370 a “gross violation” of democratic rules and avowed that party will fight the injustice till last breath.
He said PDP workers tried to express their dissent peacefully but were not allowed at a time when BJP is covering up its crimes and portraying the moment as celebration day. Holding placards scripted with “Black Day”, PDP leaders and workers were chanting slogans against the decisions taken by Modi led BJP Government last year that scrapped special status of J&K.
He also said that authorities have imposed curfew like restriction in Valley ahead of August 5 to suppress our voice. “Our party headquarter was sealed, party leaders were detained, activist were summoned to police stations where they have been arrested illegally. Also party chief Mehbooba Mufti is under detention since a year”, Laigaroo said.
He questioned that if BJP is claiming the day as “celebration day”, then why they imposed harsh restriction on the movement of people and detained the dissent. “The present circumstances clearly depict that people across the J&K is not satisfied with the decision of BJP”, he asserted. Besides Laigaroo, Mohammad Shafi Kundangar, Mohammad Umar Dar, Fayaz Ahmad Reshi, Abdul Rashid Rather, Ejaz Ahmad and others took part in protest.
Meanwhile several BJP leaders and activists celebrated the day at central and district headquarters and hoisted tricolor at the occasion. They thanked PM Modi for taking serious efforts in scrapping Article 370 and 35(A) and asserted that the move has brought peace, prosperity and development in J&K.