Jammu, Sep 3: Activists of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) on Tuesday staged a demonstration here seeking immediate release of opposition leaders under house arrest and the restoration of internet services.
Several political leaders continue to remain under house arrest following the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, on August 5.
The protest was held outside the residence of party chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh at Gandhi Nagar. Singh, who is also under house arrest, defied the restrictions to participate in the demonstration for a brief period.
The protesters raised slogans against the BJP government at the Centre and the state administration, questioning the move for detaining "nationalist leaders".
Accusing the administration of double standards in dealing with different political parties and the continued placement of opposition leaders under house arrest, the NPP chairman said: "politics of suppression and repression is unacceptable".
"You cannot have two sets of laws-- one for the BJP and the other for opposition leaders. You are allowing the BJP leaders to organize political rallies and publicity campaigns while keeping the opposition leaders under house arrest. How can anyone justify such a dichotomy in the functioning of the government," he said.
Cautioning the government to stop fiddling with the civil liberties of opposition leaders of Jammu in particular, the NPP leader said, "Such autocratic moves could prove counterproductive."
"The opposition leaders cannot be placed under prolonged confinement only for the reason that they differ with the ruling party over certain issues," he added.