MUZAFFARABAD: A group of political activists, said to be affiliated with the ruling PML-N, hurled eggs and stones on the convoy of federal minister for Kashmir affairs Ali Amin Gandapur on Thursday, triggering aerial firing from his guards, video clips posted on social media revealed.
The minister, who was accompanied by cabinet colleague Murad Saeed and PTI AJK leader Sardar Tanveer Ilyas, was travelling to Chinari to attend a public meeting under the aegis of party’s candidates when this incident occurred near Khun Bandway, some 17 kilometres from here along Jhelum Valley Road.
A video clip recorded by someone from amongst the activists standing on a sloppy link road showed the convoy passing through the main road beneath and being hurled with eggs and stones.
The video was also posted by PTI on its verified Twitter handle, with a note that “the attack was instructed by [AJK Prime Minister] Raja Farooq Haider, who can now see defeat in Kashmir after big PTI jalsa there.”
SSP Muzaffarabad Syed Riaz Haider Bukhari also confirmed to Dawn that some activists did resort to this activity “without any provocation” and added that an FIR would be registered against them followed by the arrests.
Given the charged political atmosphere, the minister’s guards must have assumed that the convoy had come under attack following which they resorted to aerial firing in self defence, he maintained.
He said the ministerial convoy had already been provided security cover by the AJK police, led by the SHO concerned and the situation was under control.
A local journalist rejected allegations on social media that Mr Gandapur had himself fired some shots into the air with a pistol, and said that people had mistook a security guard with long hair as Mr Gandapur.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider had reportedly advised his workers to remain peaceful.
“PML-N workers should not respond to the foul language and unethical actions in the same coin because it’s not our culture. We will respond to them by our vote,” he was quoted as saying by his press secretary Raja Muhammad Wasim.
Mr Wasim claimed that people of Khun Bandway were outraged at the firing by the minister’s guards and had also staged a sit-in to protest against it.
Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2021