Srinagar: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday accused BJP of using NIA against its youth leader Waheed-Ur-Rehman Para, claiming that his arrest is a clear attempt of meddling into the electoral process and influencing it in favour of the “cronies of New Delhi.”
“Ahead of the DDC election, which was purportedly supposed to give an opportunity to a new youth leadership in Jammu and Kashmir, the Government of India through its ruthless brigade arrested Waheed-Ur-Rehman Para,” PDP said in a statement.
Para was supposed to contest the upcoming District Development Council (DDC) polls from his home constituency in Pulwama, the statement said.
“He was arrested immediately after filing the nomination for the polls — a clear attempt by a central agency meddling into the electoral process and influencing it in favour of the cronies of New Delhi.”
“PDP leadership outrightly condemns New Delhi’s latest ruthless action against its youth leader who was a beacon of change in the society and always upheld the values and principles of nonviolence and democratic engagement,” it said.
“Waheed’s arrest signals the level of depravity to which the BJP and RSS can go in targeting and damaging its political opponents. These actions of New Delhi will not deter the PDP. Our actions and our voices will become louder.”
Even after being placed under detention as well as house arrest for more than a year, Para’s belief in democracy and power of people’s mandate led him to file his nomination for DDC elections, the party said.
“His return for investing his past, present and future in the democratic functioning of a volatile zone such as Kashmir has cost him his own freedom,” the party said, adding, “While we in J&K are seeing 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 in elections after repeated harassment at the hands of the state.”
Being a part of PAGD, PDP said that the party came across how leaders from the alliance are stopped from campaigning.
“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,” the statement said, adding, “The BJP has to face the facts that elections are not meant to favour the favourites, rather elections are meant for people to elect their representatives who they see fit to run their area.”
Installing “puppets and criminalizing genuine efforts” towards democratic functioning in Kashmir is how the BJP greatly undermines the spirit of democracy, the PDP said.
“During the PDP-BJP government, he was appreciated by the offices of the former Home Minister of India, Rajnath Singh, for his relentless efforts at connecting with disgruntled Kashmiri youth. He has also been instrumental in the reconciliation process,” the party said.
“Not only in Kashmir but everywhere across India, criminalising dissent has become the order of the day for the BJP regime. After dislodging the space for mainstream politics, caging Kashmiris in jails and homes, the BJP government has now resorted to arm twisting the mainstream politicians into obedience through covert threats and intimidation.” (GNS)