In a region mired in conflict, it takes all the more courage, and perseverance to be the voice of the voiceless and to separate facts from propaganda. Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

Naeem, Alam leave R-Day venue in protest

Srinagar, Jan 26: The arrangements put in place by the government for Republic Day parade in Srinagar came under cloud as former minister and MLC Naeem Akhter along with another Upper House member Khurshid Alam had to leave the venue due to not being provided right place to sit as per the protocol.
Contacted, PDP leader Naeem Akhter confirmed the breach of protocol and said he left the venue quietly in midway.
“First there were too many hassles in reaching the venue. We were re-directed, redirected and re-directed and finally we reached there and I was shown a place that I thought was for Officials. It is not a matter of personal ego or prestige but it is the prestige of the institution that I thought was diluted deliberately so I quietly left,” Akhter told KNS, adding that at the venue he along with his other colleagues represented the “only democratic institution”.
Asked whether any officer was to be blamed, Akhter said he doesn’t blame any Officer but the mindset which is being systematically created in the state unfortunately from the Raj Bhavan which is the protector of constitution.
“Ever since the present Governor has come, he has always targeted the political class in the state and I think that message has gone down to the lowest level of bureaucracy who have now found it very routine to disrespect the institutions and even go to the extent of insulting them,” Akhter told KNS.
According to the former Minister, it was unfortunate that on one hand constitution was being celebrated and on the other, leader of the largest legislative party in the council was ignored the right place which he deserves in the protocol.
When contacted, MLC Mohammad Khurshid Alam echoed what Akhter said and added that he will ensure action is initiated against the divisional administration over such a breach of protocol.
Meanwhile, Akhter has condemned the ill-treatment given to media persons during at SK Stadium.
PDP leader said that there were too many hassles on security account which led even the media persons to boycott the event and such an incident has happened for the first time in the state.
“I condemn that and it is unfortunate that every Kashmiri is now seen as holding a gun or a bomb in his hand or pocket. Is it not enough for anybody entering the venue to be frisked once? And if at one place, somebody has been cleared, how can he acquire a weapon till he reaches the next check post. I think the Security Officials needs to review this arrangement of frisking and checking so that dignity of people attending such functions is not compromised beyond the required level,” Akhter said. (KNS)