Will continue to defend our rights, says PAGD on eve of 2nd anniversary of revocation of J&K’s special status

"Gulf between Delhi and J&K widening further"
PAGD leaders speaking to the press after a meeting.
PAGD leaders speaking to the press after a meeting.GK File Photo/Aman Farooq

Srinagar, August 04: On the eve of the second anniversary of revocation of J&K’s Special Status, the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Wednesday said they will continue their struggle “in defence of our rights using every opportunity through peaceful and legal means.”

In a statement issued by M Y Tarigami, CPI (M) leader and spokesperson of the PAGD - an alliance of various political parties seeking restoration of the special status - said that they had hoped that the Government of India would realise the “futility” of its August 05, 2019 decisions when it had abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two Union Territories.

“The recent participation of J&K Leaders with the PM 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,” he said, adding that J&K remains as far from Delhi and from the Dil [heart] of India as it has ever been.

He said the distance between J&K and Delhi was further widening.

Talking about the revocation of the Special Status, Tarigami said that August 05 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.”

He claimed that the government “crossed” all the limits of constitutionality by “demolishing” the constitution of Jammu & Kashmir.

“Downgrading historic state of Jammu & Kashmir and dividing it into two separate union territories without the consent of the people and also ignoring the Resolution adopted by J&K legislature on 03 March 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 Governors Rule. Thereby the very existence of a state becomes a matter of central discretion, a substantial step towards a unitary state,” he said.

He claimed the abrogation of Article 35 A has made the status of permanent residents redundant. “Protection of jobs and land rights was removed arbitrarily which deepened the alienation and sense of insecurity in all the regions,” he said, in the statement.

Tarigami said the economy of J&K has virtually collapsed as tourism, trade, agriculture, horticulture and Handicraft sectors have been badly hit. “Employment opportunities are shrinking. Is corruption any less and governance any better? The fact remains that not a single claim stands the test of scrutiny,” he asked.

He claimed that 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,” said Tarigami.

“Over the last two years it has become amply clear why the GOI was so insistent on taking such drastic unlawful measures. During these two years 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.”

He alleged civil liberties and democratic rights continue to be suppressed. “...indiscriminate arrests and harassment of all sections of our people including employees on different pretexts continues and issuing dictates like the recent one not to provide clearance for passports and govt. services any one involved in “ law and order and stone pelting cases” is one more addition . “ Adverse police report “ can not be a substitute for being found guilty in a court of law . This amounts to violation of the most sacred principles of the justice system.”

He said the “hoax of BJP’s Naya Kashmir is a joke now” and that the people have started questioning those in authority as to what they have achieved by “destroying” the Naya Kashmir which came into being through protracted historic struggle of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. “And empowered the people of all the regions and communities with dignity by liberating them from the shackles of authoritarian monarchy and ruthless feudalism.”

Appealing to the people in all the regions and communities to remain united, Tarigami asked them 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,” he said.

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