Tarigami says BJP’s ‘Naya Kashmir’ slogan ‘is a joke now’
The Peoples Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of five Jammu and Kashmir parties, including the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Wednesday said the past two years, after ending J&K’s special status in 2019, saw “people being divided into smaller units, silenced, ripped off their jobs and rights over the natural resources”.
In a statement issued on the eve of the second anniversary of the reading down of Article 370, Gupkar alliance spokesman M.Y. Tarigami said, “Unconscionable suppression of civil and democratic rights continues unabated, indiscriminate arrests and harassment of all sections of our people, including employees on different pretexts continues. An ‘adverse police report’ cannot be a substitute for being found guilty in a court of law. This amounts to a violation of the most sacred principles of the justice system”.
The alliance shall not succumb but continue the struggle in defense of rights using every opportunity through peaceful and legal means, he asserted.
‘Economy has collapsed’
Mr. Tarigami said the BJP’s ‘Naya Kashmir’ slogan “is a joke now”. “By demolishing the constitution of J&K, it has crossed all the limits of constitutionality. Protection of jobs and land rights were removed arbitrarily, which has deepened the alienation and sense of insecurity in all the regions. The economy of J&K has virtually collapsed, as tourism, trade, agriculture, horticulture, and handicraft sectors were badly hit,” he stated.
The clampdown, continuous restrictions on the movement and association of people, and gagging of the media “has resulted in forced silence”, he alleged.
“The recent participation of J&K leaders with the Prime Minister was a leap of faith but none of the measures required to begin rebuilding the shattered confidence of people has been taken. J&K remains as far from Delhi and from the heart of India as it has ever been. Rather the distances are further widening and disheartening is deepening,” he noted.
Mr. Tarigami appealed to all sections of people “to remain united and not to fall prey to the false and slanderous campaigns and divisive attempts aimed at dividing and disarming our people”.
‘A dark day’
Sajad Lone’s J&K Peoples Conference said the August 5, 2019 move would perpetually be remembered as a dark day and a day of disempowerment in the history of J&K.
“The decisions taken on August 5 are spiteful and contrary to ideals and values of democracy, the federal character of the Indian State. These decisions contravene the very ideas of justice and dignity that form the core of the political system and constitutional philosophy of the Republic of India,” its spokesman Adnan Ashraf Mir said.
Confusing the quiescence of the people as acquiescence or approval to the decision taken on August 5 was a gross misreading of the situation. “Reality and perception on the ground are diametrically opposite,” he added.
Apni Party president Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari said the August 5 action not only snatched the special status of J&K but also incremented the trust deficit and sense of alienation among the people to an exponential level.
“There exists no substitute to the special status to J&K. But we strongly hope and believe that the Supreme Court of India will reciprocate to the people’s collective demand and deliver justice. We believe that the solution to the socio-economic and political problems faced by the people in J&K lies with New Delhi so it will be unwise to disengage or dissociate ourselves from pursuing the redressal,” he said.