Srinagar: The high security Gupkar road, which always used to be teeming with activities, now wears a deserted look. Except for a posse of security personnel loitering around, there is no activity whatsoever.
Outside the swanky residence of former chief minister Farooq Abdullah, a group of safari clad security guards stand guard and ditto is the case outside Hari Niwas, the official residence of chief minister were presently Farooq Abdull-ah’s son and former chief minister Omar Abdullah is lodged.
Till 48 hours ago, anther former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti was in the same bungalow but had to be shifted to another government accommodation in Chashmashahi, reportedly after she and Omar had an argument over the PDP-BJP alliance.
For the last nine days, all political leaders including the former CMs have been detained in different places, not allowed to come out or meet anyone inside.
This will be the first time that the Independence Day celebrations at the high security Sher-i-Kashmir cricket stadium on August 15 — the first after Narendra Modi government scrapped article 370 — will be held in the absence of political leadership of the state as they will continue to be in detention.
The absence of political leadership has clearly worked to the advantage of Jammu and Kashmir administration who have left no scope to them to issue any statements, meet party workers or media or go out among the people.
“Extraordinary situations require extraordinary measures. They have been detained keeping in view the situation in the Valley. At this time, if they are freed, it could cause unnecessary provocation and things can go out of control. We will assess the situation and then decide when to free them,” sources in the Jammu and Kashmir administration told Deccan Chronicle.
Besides the former Chief Ministers, nearly 50 MLAs have been “put up” in Centaur hotel on the Boulevard road and all roads leading to the hotel have been sealed and heavily guarded, round-the-clock.
“With the entire political leadership detained, there is no one to mobilise people or able to build a public opinion against the Centre’s move of abrogating Article 370. In the given situation, it suits everyone,” smiled a police official.
Sources who are keeping a close track of the supporters of both National Conference and PDP say that the party activists are in total disarray ever since their leaders have been detained.