In the latest move, the government has booked a National Conference youth leader under preventive detention law, Public Safety Act and sent him to Kotbalwal jail, Jammu, accusing him of being a sympathizer of the Hurriyat Conference.
National Conference says the arrest shows an Emergency like situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The party says 40-year-old Tariq Ahmad Dar has been booked for protesting against land acquisition by the government at throwaway prices in the three villages of Banihal area of Ramban district.
In its order, the district magistrate Ramban says, “the activities of the subject are highly prejudicial of the public order and in the likelihood of bail he is expected to indulge in such acts. It is, therefore, necessary to detain the said person under the provisions of the Public Safety Act 1978. The individual has been ordered to be detained in the central jail, Kotbalwal, Jammu.”
However, the National Conference says he was at the forefront of a peaceful agitation demanding due compensation to families, whose lands were procured by the government for the purpose of four-laning of Jammu –Srinagar National highway at Banihal. “And for this reason, he was arrested and all kinds of baseless charges have been leveled against him,” Imran Nabi Dar, National Conference spokesman said.
“It is very unfortunate to see the administration going down to such a level. Tariq was only giving voice to the voiceless and helping the locals to get their voices heard in the power corridors. He was only voicing for isolated, marginalized, and powerless. The crackdown is an overboard attempt to choke a critical voice,” Dar said.
“The move is baseless and points towards the emergency-like situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Sadly the law is being used to get mainstream political activists out of circulation,” Dar says.
The party’s president in the Ramban district Sajjad Ahmed Shaheen says along with others he was protesting against far less compensation given to locals for land acquisition in the three villages, Kharpora, Gundadalkote, and Devgol. “It is sad to see him being booked under the PSA for agitating the issue,” says Shaheen. He says the dossier prepared by the district administration is far from reality.
The PSA dossier has called Dar a “notorious criminal.” It has described him as “sympathizers and well-wishers of the outlaws of Jammu and Kashmir, Hurriyat group which aims to liberate the UT of J&K from Union of India by means of anti-national activities.” The dossier says, “the subject is involved in anti-national activities within the jurisdiction of the police station Banihal and surrounding areas.” “The subject is involved in organizing Bandhs and surrounding area on the instance and call of the Hurriyat leaders from the Kashmir valley.”