Srinagar: On the eve of the second anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into union territories, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Wednesday said the hoax of BJP’s “Naya Kashmir” is a joke now as people have started questioning the futility of the August 2019 move.
It appealed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to stand united and said we shall not succumb but continue our struggle in defence of our rights using every opportunity through peaceful and legal means.”
“August 5 marks the completion of two years since the unprecedented assault on the Constitution of India was taken to nullify Article 370 of the Constitution, thereby damaging the very bond of our relationship with the Union of India. By demolishing the Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir, the government has crossed all limits of constitutionality,” PAGD spokesperson and senior CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami said in a statement here.
The PAGD — an amalgam of various mainstream parties in Jammu and Kashmir, including the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) — said it was hoped that the central government would realise the futility of its decisions of August 5, 2019.
“The recent participation of J&K leaders (in a meeting) with the prime minister was a leap of faith on that hope but none of the measures required to begin rebuilding the shattered confidence of the people of J&K has been taken. J&K remains as far from Delhi and from the Dil’ (heart) of India as it has ever been. Rather the distances are further widening…,” Tarigami said.
He said downgrading the historic state of Jammu and Kashmir and dividing it into two separate union territories without the consent of the people and also ignoring the resolution adopted by the J&K legislature on March 3, 2004 to preserve the unity and the secular character of Jammu & Kashmir state has set a precedent that any state can cease to exist as a state and can be carved up into any number of fragments any time, by placing it under Governor’s Rule.
“Thereby the very existence of a state becomes a matter of central discretion, a substantial step towards a unitary state, the statement said.
“The hoax of BJP’s Naya Kashmir is a joke now. The people have started questioning those in authority as to what they have achieved by destroying Jammu and Kashmir,” the PAGD leader said.
Referring to the abrogation of Article 35-A that made the status of permanent residents redundant, the statement said the protection of jobs and land rights was removed arbitrarily which 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. Employment opportunities are shrinking. Is corruption any less and governance any better? The fact remains not a single claim stands the test of the scrutiny, he said.
He said the PAGD earnestly appeals to all sections of the people in each region and community to remain united and not to fall prey to the false and slanderous campaigns and divisive attempts aiming at dividing and disarming our people.
We are sure that at this time of serious crises we shall not succumb but continue our struggle in defence of our rights using every opportunity through peaceful and legal means, Tarigami said.
The PAGD said a process of throttling of democracy and democratic rights was initiated.
The clampdown and continuous restrictions on the movement and association of the people and gagging the media has resulted in forced silence. Over the last two years it has become amply clear why the government of India was so insistent on taking such drastic unlawful measures. We have seen that people of J&k are being ripped apart into smaller units, ripped off their jobs and rights over the natural resources that are theirs, Tarigami said.
The statement said the unconscionable suppression of civil and democratic rights continues unabated. Indiscriminate arrests and harassment of all sections of our people, including government employees, on different pretexts continues and issuing dictates like the recent one not to provide clearance for passport and government services anyone involved in law and order and stone pelting cases’ is one more addition.
“Adverse police report cannot be a substitute for being found guilty’ in a court of law. This amounts to violation of the most scared principles of the justice system, he said.