Magsaysay awardee, 4 others detained at Srinagar airport

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 10/5/2019 11:29:25 PM

JAMMU, Oct 4: Senior activists and globally recognised faces of Indian environmental and peace movement including Dr Sandeep Pandey, also the winner of prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award and renowned peace activist and educator associated with the Socialist Party, and Mr. Prafulla Samantara, Goldman Environmental Prize winner, National Advisor of National Alliance of People’s Movements-NAPM, were detained today at the Srinagar airport this afternoon soon after their arrival from New Delhi.
The two, along with activists Mr. Faisal Khan (National Convener of the Khudai Khidmatgar, an organisation founded by Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan), and two other members of the Khudai Khidmatgar were visiting Srinagar to assess the situation in the Kashmir valley. The team was going to visit Kashmiri people and extend humanitarian assistance and solidarity to the communities in distress.
They were detained at the airport on the orders of the Budgam district executive magistrate. The orders claimed that they will be a ‘threat to the law and order situation’ in Kashmir and that they were going to organise demonstrations in different parts of Kashmir.
Sandeep Pandey, who spoke to Kashmir Times from Srinagar airport after they were detained at the airport lounge said that the officials told them that there were notices against them to prevent them from entering the city on grounds that their “presence would disrupt law and order”. He said that initially only three of them were asked to return but as an after-thought, the officers decided that the two accompanying activists should also immediately return to Delhi.
Sandeep Pandey, Prafulla Samantara and Faisal Khan are expected to address a press conference at Press Club of India tomorrow.
Several activists have condemned the actions against noted activists and described it as “dictatorial tendencies of the government” They said, in a statement, that such unscrupulous handling of the Kashmir issue has alienated the people of Jammu & Kashmir by painting people as suspects and terrorists.
An emergency protest meeting was also organized in Bhubaneshwar by intellectuals and activists to protest the arbitrary detention of Prafulla Samantara, Sandeep Pandey and others. They said that leaders of several political parties, academics and human rights organizations will be holding a protest demonstration in Bhubaneshwar tomorrow.



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