Srinagar: Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and was struck down by the Centre in August 2019 — was not responsible for the eruption of militancy in the erstwhile state but the “rigged elections” of 1987 were, People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone said on Thursday.
He said Article 370 was “defamed” by the Centre across the country and disinformation was spread that it brought the gun to J-K.
“It was said that gun came here because of Article 370. The reality is that the gun did not come because of Article 370, it came in 1987 after the rigged elections, while as Article 370 was there from 1950 onwards,” Lone said, addressing a press conference here.
“When the gun did not come for about 40 years, how would it have come overnight,” he questioned.
Referring to the Supreme Court hearing a batch of petitions against the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370, Lone expressed hope that “justice” will prevail and the people of J-K will get their rights.
“We hope that God willing, the SC restores August 4, 2019 position and it ends the humiliation that J-K had to go through from being one of the politically strongest and most empowered states in India to one of the most underpowered and a UT,” Lone said.
He said the people of J-K hope that both Articles 370 and 35A are restored and the top court rules its decision in the favour of the people of the erstwhile state.
I thank the lawyers who brilliantly argued in the court. They presented the case in a very brilliant manner, he said.
Lone said the biggest takeaway from the hearings in the apex court so far has been that all the main lawyers opposing the abrogation were non-Kashmiris.
“That is India’s federalism and its pluralism that they are arguing on our behalf. Our hearts get happy that there are some souls in India even today, in this surcharged and polarised environment, who have decided to speak on behalf of the people of J-K. That’s I think the biggest takeaway,” he said. (PTI)