Emotional scenes at MLA hostel as pol leaders meet relatives

Emotional scenes at MLA hostel as pol leaders meet relatives

Family members of caged leaders complain inadequate facilities at hostel, Officials say allegations baseless

Owais Gul

Srinagar, Nov 20 (KNO): Days after the alleged manhandling of caged mainstream leaders; the families of several politicians serving detention since August 5 Wednesday met their relatives at MLA Hostel in Srinagar and alleged inadequate facilities at the hostel. Emotional scenes were witnessed at the hostel after close relatives of caged mainstream leaders hugged their dear ones after a long time.

Dozens of mainstream political leaders affiliated with different political parties including the former chief ministers of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State-Dr. Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were detained by the government on August 5, when the central government abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (Article 370) and bifurcated the erstwhile State into two Union Territories.

According to the wire service –Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the family members of several political leaders including former minister Naeem Akhtar, PDP leader Sartaj Madni, Nizamuddin Bhat, National Conference (NC) General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar and others met them at MLA Hostel today.

The family members expressed concern about the wellbeing of detained leaders. The government has apprehensions that there will be law and order problem, and they are kept under incarceration only because the government has apprehensions of law and order problem.

Shehriyar Khanam, daughter of Naeem Akhtar said that the detained leaders should be lodged at a place which has good living conditions. “Less heating arrangements have been made available for the detained leaders but that is not enough in this blistering cold,” she alleged.

She said that they have no demands, but are concerned about the wellbeing of their beloved. “Many leaders are there who are older than my father and are ill. They should be lodged at a place which has healthy living conditions,” she said, as per KNO.

The families alleged that the caged leaders have been kept in unsuitable place where they are being provided no facilities, leaving them lurch at large.

National Conference (NC) Member of Parliament Muhammad Akbar Lone’s son, Bilal Ahmad Bhat, whose another son Hilal Ahmad is under incarceration, said that the place where these leaders have been caged is inappropriate. “The place where these leaders are caged was hit by floods in 2014 and there is dust everywhere in the building,” he said.

He said they were not allowed to see the upper story of the building, but the place where the leaders are caged is in shambles.   

As per KNO, the family members of detained leaders had come along with blankets, fruit and other food stuff for their beloved.

The family members and relatives of the detainees here also demanded adequate facilities to their beloved, stating that the government must provide all the facilities to them. The families also demanded the shifting of detained leaders to Central Jail or to Jammu.

An official while talking to KNO termed the claims made by families of detained leaders as ‘baseless’, adding that adequate facilities are being provided to the detained leaders. “We have made all the arrangements for the detained leaders. Adequate blankets, heating system and other things have been made available to the leaders,” he said.

Pertinently, the leaders were first lodged at make-shift jail at Centaur and were shifted to MLA Hostel on Sunday following which the former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter through the twitter handle of her mother, alleged manhandling of trio detained leaders including former minister Sajjad Gani Lone, PDP youth leader Waheed Para and former bureaucrat-turned-politician Dr. Shah Faesal by police. The allegations were however refuted by the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Law and Order and Security, Munir Ahmad Khan, who termed the claims as ‘baseless’.(KNO)

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