Kashmir political leaders accuse authorities of arresting their workers

SRINAGAR — J&K political leaders, including Sajjad Gani Lone and Altaf Bukhari, have raised concerns over the arrest and harassment of workers ahead of the polls.

Sajjad Gani Lone, President of J&K Peoples Conference, appealed to the Election Commission and administration to ensure fairness and impartiality, urging them not to target parties selectively.

Echoing his sentiments, Altaf Bukhari, President of the Apni Party, condemned the arrests of their workers and agents, labelling it as a blatant attempt to manipulate the elections.

Both leaders called for the intervention of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to stop the arrest spree and ensure free and fair elections, emphasizing the need for a level playing field for all political entities.

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They accused rival parties like the National Conference and PDP of having deep connections with the administration and orchestrating the arrests to curtail fair competition.

The ongoing arrests have sparked concerns, with the Apni Party warning of a potential boycott if their workers are not released promptly.

Pertinently, Mehbooba Mufti, the President of the Peoples Democratic Party, and Farooq Abdullah, the President of Jammu & Kashmir National Conference, also accused the UT administration of arresting and harassing their workers ahead of polls in the Srinagar parliamentary constituency.

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Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir Police clarified that statements made by political parties alleging harassment of their workers are unfounded.

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As per the statement issued here, the J&K Police said that they are dedicated to upholding the law and following MCC guidelines to ensure fair elections.

The police in the statement further said that actions have been taken against persons from all parties for various violations, including seizure of cash, narcotics, and liquor.

Police reiterated their commitment to securing candidates and political workers, regardless of party affiliation, during rallies and roadshows.

While criticism of the police is acknowledged as part of their profession, speculative statements against individual officers pose security risks. However, the police remain dedicated to impartial law enforcement, the statement added.

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