Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah has hit out at the central government after political leaders including three former chief ministers were detained ahead of a march by the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) to protest against the recommendations of the Delimitation Commission.
"Good morning and welcome to 2022. A new year with the same JK police illegally locking people in their homes and an administration so terrified of normal democratic activity...Trucks parked outside our gates to scuttle the peaceful @JKPAGD sit-in protest. Some things never change," tweeted the National Conference vice-president.
In addition to blockading his house, the police had also locked the gate connecting his father's house to his sister's, Abdullah alleged, decrying it as a "lawless police state".
The PAGD had proposed to hold a peaceful demonstration in Srinagar on Saturday against the proposal of the Delimitation Commission of increasing six seats in Jammu division and one in Kashmir. With this, the number of seats in Jammu would have gone up to 43 and Kashmir to 47.
Former CM Mehbooba Mufti tweeted that trucks had also blockaded her house.
"GOI trumpets scrapping Article 370 & dismembering J&K throughout the country but is deeply paranoid & intolerant when people of J&K want to protest against its disempowerment. For the umpteenth time, we've been placed under house arrest for trying to organise a peaceful protest," she said.
Senior CPI (M) leader M Y Tarigami, who is the spokesperson of the alliance said that it was a sad state of affairs when the administration would not even allow a democratic and peaceful protest.
The Delimitation Commission has the power to decide on the "the total number of seats to be assigned to the Legislative Assembly of each State and determine on the basis of the census figures". Critics of the move to introduce extra seats have accused the BJP of pushing Hindu-majority Jammu to the forefront at the risk of imbalance of representation.