The Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party alleged on Tuesday that the state administration has disallowed its leaders from meeting party chief Mehbooba Mufti, PTI reported. Mufti has been in detention in Srinagar since August 5, when India revoked the state’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.
The Peoples Democratic Party leadership in Jammu had forwarded a letter to the deputy commissioner of police for Srinagar, seeking permission afresh to meet the detained party chief on October 30. “A request by PDP leaders to meet party chief and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has been turned down by the administration,” senior party leader Ved Mahajan said.
The PDP had been granted permission to meet Mufti earlier this month, but the visit was postponed following intra-party differences. Some party leaders had at the time targeted Mahajan, claiming that he had sidelined them while taking the decision to meet Mufti. They also accused Mahajan of following in the footsteps of the National Conference, whose leaders met party chief Farooq Abdullah.
On Tuesday, Mahajan said the party had been told unofficially that its leaders will not be allowed to meet Mufti on October 30.
Jammu and Kashmir was placed under a lockdown after India abrogated its special status on August 5. While several restrictions have now been removed, political leaders like National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah, and Mehbooba Mufti continue to be in detention. Though mobile phone services have been partially restored, internet services are still blocked in Kashmir.
Earlier on Tuesday, a team of 23 members of the European Parliament, mostly from right-wing parties, visited Srinagar. On Monday, they had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said the trip should help the delegation understand the cultural and religious diversity of the region, and give them a clear perspective on the “development and governance priorities”.
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