Opposition National Conference’s women wing today protested against the PDP-led government here for allegedly pursuing “anti-Kashmir” and “anti-youth” policies. They were demanding initiation of dialogue and an end to “state terrorism”, use of pellet guns and mass arrests across the Valley. The women activists, who were led by NC provincial president and MLA Shameema Firdous, took out a protest rally from the party headquarters Nawai Subah complex, but were stopped by the police at Polo Ground before reaching Civil Secretariat.
Addressing the rally at TRC chowk, Firdous said, “This government has proved anti-Kashmiri and anti-public. It has waged a war against the public in general and the youth in particular.” Alleging “failure” of the state government, she said it has “broken all previous records of atrocities”.
“Pellets, bullets and teargas shells are being showered inside schools and colleges. Brute force is being used against students in clear violation of democratic values and freedom of expression,” the MLA said. “An Army officer is awarded for tying a youth to a military jeep as a human shield,” she said, referring to Major Leetul Gogoi who was honoured with the Army Chief’s Commendation Card.
Saying that “no such example is witnessed in the past”, Fidous alleged that there is no impact on the PDP government as it is only interested in “saving its chair.”
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Apparently referring to the shifting of Dukhtaran-e- Millat chief Asiya Indrabi and her assistant to a jail in Jammu under PSA, the NC leader said, “The height of things is that despite having a woman chief minister, the women are arrested under PSA and sent to jails outside the valley”. She alleged that it has become a “norm to handicap youth by firing pellets in their eyes”.
“Over 18,000 persons were injured during the last one year, 12,000 others were sent to jail, 900 slapped with PSA and 70,000 residential houses were damaged. It is still continuing,” the MLA said.
Firdous alleged that the entire Kashmir has been turned into an “interrogation centre” where the people have been left on the “mercy of Army and other security forces”.
A party spokesman said the protest rally was planned to conclude at Civil Secretariat but was ended at Polo Ground due to blocking of the road by heavy deployment of police. Officials said the women activists, stopped by the police at Polo Ground, staged a demonstration before dispersing peacefully.