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HomeIndiaMehbooba Mufti's daughter Iltija 'detained' in Srinagar home, police cite security protocol

Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija ‘detained’ in Srinagar home, police cite security protocol

Iltija Mufti says she was detained after she told her security team about her plan to visit the grave of grandfather Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

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Srinagar: Iltija Mufti, the daughter of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, Thursday claimed that she had been “detained” at her Gupkar Road residence in Srinagar.

Speaking to ThePrint, Iltija said she had been detained by her security team, handled by the J&K Police’s Special Security Group, after she informed them of her plans to visit the grave of her grandfather, former J&K chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

“I have been in Kashmir for over a week and I was being allowed to move around only after I informed the security team at our residence about my day plan,” Iltija told ThePrint over the phone. “Today, when I informed them that I wanted to visit the graveyard of my grandfather, they simply refused permission. When I told them I will inform the media about their decision, they barred the entry and exit points of our home.” 

She added that her security team denied her permission citing law and order situation in the Valley. “I was told that I have SSG protection and moving to the graveyard under these circumstances would not be possible,” Iltija said. “On one hand, the government cites law and order situation here to deny me permission and on the other, people of India are told everything is normal in Kashmir. The atmosphere in Kashmir continues to be oppressive.”

Iltija said she had offered to go on her own but that request was also turned down. “I have stopped using the SSG cover when I move around outside Kashmir,” she said. “Here, whenever I visit, I have requested them many times to leave me alone but they won’t listen.”

Sayeed’s grave in located in south Kashmir’s Bijbehara area.

“My grandfather’s death anniversary is next week so I wanted to visit the graveyard today,” she said. “I wasn’t sure if I will be allowed to visit the grave next week so I decided to go there today.” 

Also read: Not a happy new year for many Kashmiris as SMS service resumes only for BSNL users 

Action according to protocol: Police

Senior police officers, however, told ThePrint that the administration had not denied permission to Iltija, and that disallowing her would be a decision taken by the SSG based on their protocol.

“The administration and the police have not denied permission,” said a senior government official. “The SSG follows a specific protocol and takes decisions keeping in mind the security situation here. In this case too, SSG protocols are being followed.”

In September last year, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi allowed Iltija to meet Mehbooba Mufti, who has been under detention in Srinagar since the withdrawal of Article 370 in August.

In her petition, Iltija had also pleaded to be allowed to roam “freely” in Srinagar. To this, the bench had asked her what was the need to roam around as it’s “cold in Srinagar”. It, however, said she could move around in Srinagar, subject to prior permission from the authorities, if needed.

Rumours about Geelani’s health

There has been a sense of panic in the Valley, fuelled by rumours that the health of senior separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has been deteriorating.

According to police sources, the authorities have held review meetings to discuss eventualities that may take place if Geelani’s health deteriorates further.  

Officers, however, said the meetings are routine and part of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) undertaken by the police to face all kinds of eventualities.

The administration has long anticipated a sensitive situation in case Geelani’s health worsens, and the rumours are not helping their cause.

Security has been stepped up in certain sensitive pockets of the Valley as well. However, no official word on the latest situation of Geelani’s health has come as of now. 

Also read: 5 J&K politicians released, administration now hopes for resumption of political activity 


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