Security Being Used As Pretext To Impede Democracy In J&K: Farooq Abdullah

No government has the right to alter the foundations of democracy, Farooq Abdullah said (File)

New Delhi:

The president of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), Farooq Abdullah, on Saturday alleged that security was being used as a pretext to impede and customize democracy in the Union Territory.

In a two-page letter to J-K Election Commissioner K K Sharma, Mr Abdullah, who is at present a Lok Sabha member from Srinagar, said providing security to a select few and literally interning the rest is a gross interference in democracy.

“I am taking the liberty of writing to you about the upcoming DDC elections. A strange and a unique feature has come to the fore. Candidates put up by the PAGD are immediately whisked away to ‘secure locations’ in the name of security and confined to those ”secure locations”. They are not allowed to canvass, they are completely out of touch with those from whom they are supposed to seek votes,” Mr Abdullah alleged in the letter.

He said the parties’ part of the PAGD have been in power in the past and have had the opportunity to head and run the government and are aware of the challenges posed in the realm of security in a place beset by violence.

“These challenges are not new, but have been painfully persisting for the last three decades. But, the government had structures in place which ensured security for all contestants irrespective of the ideology they espoused or the parties they represented,” he said.

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The Lok Sabha MP said the current state of affairs in the realm of security is “blatantly oriented” towards providing security to a select few and confining others.

“This comes across more as an attempt to interfere in the democratic process than any real concern for the wellbeing of the contestants. Security cannot and should not be used as a tool or an excuse to interfere in democratic processes,” he said.

“Governments come and go. No government has the right to alter the institutional foundations of democracy in J-K, nourished by the sacrifices of thousands of political workers,” the letter read.

He said while security is a challenge and it is for the government of the day to counter that challenge in a manner which is fair and transparent, “providing security to a select few and literally interning the rest is a gross interference in democracy”.

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