SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has denied permission to Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to hold a prayer meet at the grave of party’s founder and former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on his 4th death anniversary on Tuesday. However, the deceased leader’s granddaughter was allowed to visit his mausoleum to offer prayers.
The leader died on January 7, 2016, as serving CM of then PDP-BJP coalition government, which was formed a year earlier. As per his will, Mufti’s body was buried in his hometown Bijbehara in south Kashmir’s Anantnag.
The party had been holding meetings every year on the day to pay homage to the party founder.
PDP Secretary Abdul Hamid Kohsheen said the party had sought permission from Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to hold congregational prayer meeting at Mufti’s grave. It is unfortunate that we were not given permission, he said.
The party, he said, would now hold a prayer meeting at PDP headquarters in Srinagar.According to another party leader, some second-rung leaders and senior activists of party from south Kashmir, especially Anantnag, may attempt to visit Mufti’s grave tomorrow to offer tributes. “It remains to be seen whether they will be allowed to visit the grave,” he said.
However, the administration has allowed Mufti’s granddaughter Iltija Mehbooba to visit his grave tomorrow.“I have been verbally told by officials that I can visit,” Iltija told this newspaper, adding that she is still unsure if the visit will actually take place.
The authorities, earlier, disallowed National Conference from holding a prayer meeting at the grave of party’s founder and former CM Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in Srinagar on December 5 by enforcing restrictions in the area.
‘Immediate statehood unlikely’
Senior BJP leader and former J&K Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta said statehood should be restored only when security concerns are addressed and Assembly elections take place. “Till normalcy is restored, J&K will be a UT,” he said