Our movement hindered, bullet-proof vehicles denied, Sajad Lone says

Sajad Lone said he had transformed his own car into a bullet-proof car in Chandigarh, but that the authorities had refused to give him permission

Two politicians, including former Chief Minister of erstwhile J-K State Omar Abdullah and People’s Conference chairman Sajad Ghani Lone, expressed disappointment on Thursday about the Jammu and Kashmir administration, which as per them, is refusing to allow them to take bullet-proof vehicles for their own and their party leaders’ safety.

Sajad Lone was the first to tweet that he had transformed his own car into a bullet-proof car in Chandigarh, but that the authorities had refused to give him permission (for its use).

“Just saying. M not complaining. So much about security, u talk after someone dies. We know how u use security as a tool. I m supposed to be Z plus category. Have brought a private vehicle, Bullet proofed it. Is lying at the factory in Chandigarh. Y because clearance not given,” Sajad Lone said in his tweet.

While quoting Sajad Lone’s tweet, Omar Abdullah stated that he completely agreed with him.

“Agree 100%. We also wanted to order 2 bullet proof vehicles for our senior Kashmir based office bearers who are being denied proper protection out of spite. The permission request is collecting dust on some desk in the administration,” he said.

However, Sajad Ghani Lone went on to state that for three months, the ADG Security had not put his signature on an approval. “This is with someone who apparently has Z plus (security). What would u (you) do with lesser mortals with lesser levels of security,” he asked.

“Problem is not all yours. Post August 5, there is a perception that political class in J-K are thieves, thugs etc and the officer class including the police have actually begun to believe in it. Politicians are supposed to be dispensable – politically, socially and now physically,” Lone said.

Mr Lone continued the tweet thread and said, “The remedy has to come from the union government and the Office of J-K’s LG. They will have to convey the indispensability of political class in a democracy.”

Lone asked for an end to “this childish behaviour”, saying, “The truth is that if today political class in J-K can be dispensable, what stops it from being dispensable across India sometime in the future.”

“Please make the bureaucracy, police or civil (administration) answerable. Let (the) heads roll if heads r (are) rolling physically,” he stated.

Earlier, Mehbooba Mufti also said that she was being stopped from meeting people on the name of COVID-19 and security. She had tweeted, “In J&K besides security COVID has become another excuse to prevent me from reaching out to people in distress. GOI wants to obfuscate the truth & brush such tragedies under the rug.”

Following the assassination of a BJP councillor in Tral, the issue of security of political leaders has resurfaced in the public discourse. However, this time, marginalised Kashmir lawmakers are telling their experiences about how the government is stopping them from protecting themselves.

The government took away most of the political workers’ protection days before they were allowed to leave the “elite” jail. Some of them are now attempting to invest in their own security, although they claim to be having difficulties.

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