Want end to ‘FIR culture’ in J&K: Sajad Lone

SRINAGAR — People’s Conference chief Sajad Lone on Thursday said he wants an end to the ‘FIR culture’ in Jammu and Kashmir and asked the administration to stop ‘harassing’ the youth on one pretext or the other.

“I want an end to the FIR culture. I want an end to the police verification culture. I want the youth of Kashmir to live a life of peace and the government should also let them live peacefully,” he said.

“The government is not letting them live in peace and it harasses them in one way or other,” Lone told reporters after addressing a massive election rally in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

The party claimed the rally was the largest gathering by any political party in the last three decades in the Valley.

“I want the laws that are there for the rest of the country to be the same for the youth of Kashmir. I am happy that the tourist (National Conference leader) Omar Abdullah also talks of police verifications now,” he said.

The National Conference vice-president is contesting against Lone from Baramulla.

Lone’s jibe was aimed at Abdullah contesting from the north Kashmir seat instead of Srinagar, which has been the traditional bastion of the Abdullah family.

The People’s Conference chief also said his party is not seeking anything ‘special’ from the government.

“We are only seeking our due. Please do not make us look inferior,” he added.

Asked about Abdullah’s claim that the National Conference has already won the Srinagar seat and will claim victory from Baramulla and Anantnag-Rajouri as well, Lone said elections should not be held in that case and the National Conference leader should decide who wins or loses.

‘”will create a new election commission and there will be no elections. Omar will say who will win or lose,”he said.

Taking on Abdullah, Lone said he and his father — National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah — show ‘arrogance’. ‘The level they have stooped to, I have not seen this type of worse campaigning ever.’ Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari, who has pledged support to Lone, was also present at the rally.

A People’s Conference spokesperson said the party showcased a historic display of unity and determination by orchestrating an ‘awe-inspiring and historic mega political rally’ in Baramulla, ‘marking the largest gathering by any political party in the past three decades’. — (PTI)