Jammu and Kashmir state election commissioner KK Sharma on Friday said PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has not been detained and that police had advised her not to undertake the journey to Pulwama in view of “security risk”.
He was responding to Ms Mufti’s claim that she has been placed under house arrest by the authorities.
The former chief minister said she was not allowed to visit the Pulwama residence of party leader Waheed Parra who was arrested by the NIA earlier this week. She said her daughter was also put under house arrest.
On Friday afternoon, the authorities barred Ms Mufti from holding a press conference at her residence here following which she said Kashmir was an “open air prison” where no one has the right to express their opinion.
“She has not been detained,” Mr Sharma told reporters in reply to a question about the allegation that the former chief minister was detained by police to prevent her from campaigning in the upcoming District Development Council (DDC) polls.
Mr Sharma further said she wanted to go to Pulwama and police told her it was a far off area. “Due to security risk, she (Mehbooba) was advised not to go there. She was not in detention,” SEC said.
He further said the police has also issued a statement that Ms Mufti was not under detention.
“I’ve been illegally detained yet again. Since two days, J&K admin has refused to allow me to visit @parawahid’s family in Pulwama. BJP Ministers & their puppets are allowed to move around in every corner of Kashmir but security is a problem only in my case,” Ms Mufti said in a tweet earlier.
She had announced that she would meet journalists at her residence at 3 PM on Friday.
However, close to the time announced by the PDP chief, a posse of police personnel stopped journalists about 100 metres away from her “Fairview” residence in Gupkar area of the city saying the press conference was not allowed “as per the orders from the higher ups”.
“Press has been barred from entering my residence in Srinagar. This despite no written orders explaining my arbitrary detention. Kashmir is an open air prison where no one has the right to express their opinion,” Ms Mufti said on Twitter.
The police, through its unverified Twitter account, said Ms Mufti was not under house arrest and was only asked to postpone her visit to Pulwama purely due to security reasons.
The police, however, did not elaborate on why the residence of the PDP chief was blocked and journalists were barred from entering it for the press conference.
“PDP leader Ms Mehbooba Mufti is not under house arrest. She was requested to #postpone her visit to #Pulwama purely due to #security reasons,” Kashmir Zone Police said on Twitter.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)