Jammu & Kashmir

Mehbooba alleges detention of PDP workers, holds protest; police says ‘only OGWs held’

Former chief minister JK, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti during a sit-in protest outside Police Station Bijbehara. [FPK Photo/ Umar Farooq]

Bijbehara: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday staged a protest outside a police station in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district, where polling is underway in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections, against alleged detention of her party workers and polling agents.

She also claimed that outgoing calls on her mobile number have been suspended. Police, however, said those detained are overground workers (OGWs) and the action was taken to ensure smooth conduct of elections.

Mehbooba, who is among 20 candidates in the fray from the Anantnag-Rajouri constituency, staged a sit-in outside Bijbehara police station on the Srinagar-Jammu highway. The protesters raised slogans against the Jammu and Kashmir administration and demanded that those detained be immediately released.

“Our PDP polling agents are being targeted and arrested. We are asking the reason but they are not saying anything. If they are so afraid of me going to the Parliament, then the lieutenant governor should tell me not to fight elections,” Mehbooba told reporters.

She said this kind of “rigging” was witnessed in 1987 which many believe led to the eruption of militancy in Kashmir.

Police said only a few people with a “tainted” past record and who can pose a threat to law and order on polling day have been detained.

“Those who have been detained are overground workers and have been taken into preventive custody to ensure peaceful polling,” a police official said.

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