Sunday, January 24, 2021

J&K: Ahead of first phase of DDC polls, NIA arrests PDP youth wing’s Waheed Ur Rehman Para

J&K: Ahead of first phase of DDC polls, NIA arrests PDP youth wing's Waheed Ur Rehman Para

NEW DELHI: Ahead of the voting for the first phase of Jammu and Kashmir’s district development council (DDC) elections, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested People’s Democratic Party (PDP) youth wing president Waheed ur- Rehman Para after two days of interrogation.

Para, who was a close aide to former chief minister Mebooba Mufti, recently filed his nomination for the DDC elections from Pulwama in South Kashmir. He was summoned by the NIA headquarters on Monday for his alleged involvement with the Hizbul Mujahideen terror group, said officials.

As first reported by ET on November 23, Para’s name was instrumental in the revival of the PDP in south Kashmir, especially in the militancy-infested Pulwama, around the time suspended deputy superintendent of police Davinder Singh was posted in the region. His name reportedly cropped up during the questioning of another suspect Tariq Mir, a former BJP leader, who was accused of supplying arms to Naveed Babu.

“NIA arrested Waheed Ur Rehman Para, the youth wing leader of PDP, in connection with the Naveed Babu-Davinder Singh case for supporting Hizbul Mujahideen in conspiracy with the other accused persons,” said an NIA spokesperson.

However, the arrest drew sharp reaction from Mufti who also shared a video of the then home minister Rajnath Singh “applauding him (Para) for strengthening democracy in J&K” on Twitter. “Waheed has no connection whatsoever with this man and is being falsely charged. All just to blackmail and intimidate PDP and other mainstream political parties in J&K,” she tweeted.

The first phase of DDC election will be held on November 28 in which PDP is contesting in alliance with National Conference, Congress and CPIM under the banner of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD). Union home minister Amit Shah recently termed the alliance an “unholy global alliance” and alleged that it, along with Congress, wants to take Jammu and Kashmir back to the era of terror and turmoil.

The conglomerate of the Valley’s regional and national political parties was formed defending the restoration of Article 370. “Congress and the Gupkar Gang want to take J&K back to the era of terror and turmoil. They want to take away the rights of Dalits, women and tribals that we have ensured by withdrawing Article 370. This is why they’re being rejected by the people everywhere,” Shah had said.

In its charge sheet, the NIA said, “Investigation has revealed that the accused were part of a deep-rooted conspiracy hatched by the Pakistan-based terrorist organisation HM and Pakistani state agencies to commit violent acts and to wage war against the Union of India. The accused persons were obtaining weapons and ammunition from across the border with the help of arms smugglers and accused former deputy SP Singh. The weapons were later used for terrorist activities.”

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