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A number of Congress activists, including Pradesh Congress Committee president Vikar Rasool Wani, were arrested on Monday after they attempted to march to the Raj Bhavan over the Adani issue and alleged anti-government policies in Jammu and Kashmir.
The protesters, including Congress president Raman Bhalla and former minister Yogesh Sawhney, also chanted slogans in support of statehood and early assembly elections in the union territory.
“We have gathered here to march to the Raj Bhavan to lodge our protest against the BJP for refusing to investigate the allegations of financial misappropriation and market manipulation by the Adani group. The ‘Modi-Adani friendship’ has ruined this country,” Wani said before he led the protest march outside Maharaja Hari Singh Park in the city.
When the marchers reached the nearby Vivekanand chowk on their way to Raj Bhavan, the police intervened and took many of them into preventive custody. The protesters were put into two buses and taken away to a nearby police station.
“We are also protesting the Governor-led attack by enacting ‘anti-government’ laws since 2019 (when JK’s special status under Article 370 was revoked and the state divided into two unions),” JKPCC president said. said.
He slammed the JK government for levying property tax, launching crackdowns on encroachment, rising unemployment, job scams and hiring a previously blacklisted company to conduct computer-based written tests to fill various government vacancies.
Bhalla said the protest was planned to push for the formation of a joint parliamentary committee to probe allegations of fraud against industrialist Gautam Adani, rising inflation, prosecution of peaceful protesters including students and unskilled workers, state reconstruction and assembly elections.
Condemning the police action, Congress spokesperson Jahanzaib Sirwal said, “This is the state of affairs in JK where peaceful protests are not allowed.
“This (detention of peaceful protesters) is an ‘assassination’ of democracy but such things will not stop us from raising issues of public concern and demanding restoration of the state and early elections,” Sirwal told PTI.
The Congress leader said his party will continue to raise public awareness and expose the BJP for trying to “suppress the opposition”.