No democracy in J&K: PDP patron



Srinagar: The ruling National Conference was on Saturday flayed by People's Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed for the frequent restrictions on movement imposed by authorities in Jammu and Kashmir.

"It is unfortunate that even 60 years after Independence, people in Kashmir are being barred from paying homage to the martyrs who fought for their freedom.

"There is no democracy here as is prevalent in the rest of the country," Sayeed told reporters after paying floral tributes to the 1931 martyr's at Naqashband Sahib shrine in downtown Srinagar.

Sayeed, a former chief minister of the state, said there is an atmosphere of "suffocation and suppression" in J-K and the state has virtually turned into a jail.

"Democracy is the battle of ideas. We allowed everybody to go anywhere when we were in power (between 2002-2008, in a coalition with Congress, the present NC partner).

The PDP Patron said both NC and Congress were responsible for the prevailing air of "uncertainty" in the state.

"There is no governance, no transparency and no accountability in the state and both NC and Congress are responsible for that," he said.

Sayeed sought a clear mandate from the people in the Assembly elections scheduled next year, telling the gathering that it was the responsibility of the people of the state to change the atmosphere of despondence.

Speaking out against alleged police excesses on unarmed protesters, the PDP leader said it was unfortunate that no action has been taken over the death of 120 youths during mass protests in 2010.

Meanwhile, on the Indo-Pakistan peace process, Sayeed said that now, with a democratically-elected government in power in the neighbouring country, there "will be some breakthrough".

PTI