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Scores of Congress activists, including Pradesh Congress Committee President Vikar Rasool Wani, were detained on Monday after they attempted to march to Raj Bhavan on the Adani issue and the alleged anti-people policies of the Jammu and Kashmir administration.
The protesters, including Congress working President Raman Bhalla and former minister Yogesh Sawhney, also chanted slogans in support of restoration of statehood and early assembly elections in the Union Territory.
“We have gathered here to march to Raj Bhavan to present our protest against the BJP for denying an investigation into allegations of financial irregularities and market manipulation by the Adani group. The “Modi-Adani friendship” has destroyed this country,” Wani said before leading the protest march from outside Maharaja Hari Singh Park in the city.
As the marchers reached nearby Vivekanand on the way to the Raj Bhavan, the police intervened and took many of them into preventive custody. The protesters boarded two buses and were taken into a nearby police installation.
“We are also protesting against the Lt Governor-led administration’s onslaught by enforcing ‘anti-people’ laws since 2019 (when JK’s special status under Article 370 was revoked and the state was bifurcated into two union territories),” said the president of the JKPCC. He said.
He denounced the JK administration for enforcing property tax, launching anti-encroachment drives, rising unemployment, job scams and hiring a previously blacklisted company to conduct computer written tests for filling various government vacancies.
Bhalla said the protest was planned to press for setting up a joint parliamentary committee to investigate allegations of fraud against industrialist Gautam Adani, rising inflation, baton-charge on peaceful protesters, including students and casual labourers, restoration of state and early assembly elections.
Condemning the police action, Congress spokesperson Jahanzaib Sirwal said, “This is the situation in JK where peaceful protest is not allowed.”
“This (detention of peaceful protesters) is a ‘murder’ of democracy but such things will not stop us from raising the issues related to the public and the demand for restoration of statehood and early assembly elections, ” Sirwal told PTI.
The Congress leader said his party would continue to raise public issues and expose the BJP for trying to “suppress the opposition”.