Srinagar, Nov 25 : In a strongly worded statement issued on Wednesday after the arrest of its leader Waheed Para, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said that ahead of the District Development Council (DDC) elections, which are supposed to give an opportunity to the new youth leadership in Jammu and Kashmir, “the government of India through its ruthless brigade has arrested Waheed Ur Rehman Para.”
“PDP’s youth leader Waheed Para was supposed to contest the polls from his home constituency in Pulwama.He was arrested immediately after filing the nomination for the polls – a clear attempt by a central agency to meddle into the electoral process and influence it in favour of the cronies of New Delhi,” the statement said.
The statement said that the PDP leadership outrightly condemned New Delhi’s ruthless action against its youth leader who is a beacon of change in the society who has always upheld the values and principles of non-violence and democratic engagement.
“Waheed’s arrest signals the level of depravity to which the BJP and RSS can go to target and damage its political opponents.These actions of New Delhi will not deter the PDP.Our actions and our voices will become louder,” the statement said.
The statement further said that even after being placed under detention as well as house arrest for more than a year, Para’s belief in democracy and in the power of people’s mandate led him to file his nomination for the DDC elections.
“We are seeing in J&K how the BJP is constantly favouring and protecting its own candidates for the upcoming elections.A very important member of our party is being targeted for not only voicing his stand against the ills of the administration, but also having the sheer courage to contest the elections after repeated harassment at the hands of the state,” the statement said.
“Being a part of PAGD (People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration), we have also come across how leaders from the alliance are stopped from campaigning and now we see that the leaders who have filed their nominations are being targeted for trying to democratically steer the needs of their people forward,” it said.
The statement added that the BJP has to face the facts that elections are not meant to favour the favourites, rather they are meant for people to elect their representatives who they deem fit to run their area.
“Installing puppets and criminalising genuine efforts towards democratic functioning in Kashmir is how the BJP greatly undermines the spirit of democracy,” the statement said.
It further said that during the PDP-BJP rule, Para was appreciated by the office of the former Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, for his relentless efforts at connecting with the disgruntled Kashmiri youth.He has also been instrumental in the reconciliation process.
“Not only in Kashmir, but everywhere across India, criminalising dissent has become the order of the day for the BJP regimes.After dislodging the space for mainstream politics, caging Kashmiris in jails and in their homes, the BJP government has now resorted to arm twisting the mainstream politicians into obedience through covert threats and intimidation,” the statement added.
After his questioning by the National Investigating Agency (NIA), PDP leader Para was arrested on Wednesday by the NIA for alleged links in a terror case involving Deputy Superintendent of Police, Davinder Singh, and Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Naveed Babu.
Former Chief Minister and PDP President Mehbooba in a series of tweets said that BJP milks the illegal scrapping of Article 370 in every nook and corner of the country.But when it comes to Kashmiris questioning its abrogation, they are locked up and punished.
“Everyone knows at whose behest Davinder Singh worked.Ironic that they have the gall to blame others,” she wrote on twitter.
“Waheed has no connection whatsoever with this man and is being falsely charged.All just to blackmail & intimidate PDP and other mainstream political parties in J&K,” she added.