'Undemocratic diktat': Sajad writes to Governor Malik

Peoples Conference chairman SajadGani Lone Monday wrote a letter to Governor Satya Pal Malik to seek withdrawal of the order prohibiting movement of civilian vehicles on the Baramulla-Srinagar-Jammu highway for two days a week.

In a decision that sparked widespread outrage across Kashmir, the state government last week ordered restrictions on movement of civilian vehicles on the Baramulla-Srinagar-Jammu highway on Sunday and Wednesday every week to facilitate movement of forces’ convoys on the road.

“This is the most despicable, irrational, undemocratic and senseless diktat ever to have been issued in a republic nation governed by the Constitution,” reads the letter written by Lone to Governor.

Sajad said the “outrageous order violates Article 19(1)(d) of the Constitution of India, which guarantees to the citizens the fundamental right to move freely in any part of the country”.

“By barring the movement of the people of the State on two days a week, does the State administration want to convey that the fundamental rights are not applicable to the State of J&K or that the administration has the power to suspend these rights at its whim and caprice? I think your excellency has been grossly mislead and ill-advised in this matter,” the letter reads.

Sajad said the “shameful order, reminiscent of totalitarian and despotic era of governance, is bound to turn into a humanitarian disaster as the school children, employees, people connected with trade and business and people in dire need to travel in order to attend to their daily needs of survival would not be able to move”.

“This restriction will also have a disastrous effect on tourism industry in the State when the tourism season has just begun. Practically, the hustle and bustle of life in the State would be in off-mode for these two days,” the letter further states.

Sajad has suggested to the Governor that forces personnel can “either be airlifted from Jammu or transported through dedicated railway coaches from Banihal to Baramulla.”

Cautioning the governor’s regime about implications of the decision, Sajad said the move would also “result in bad blood between the civilian population and the armed forces, which would be detrimental for security environment of the state”.

Seeking revocation of the order, Sajad said “such draconian orders have no place in civilised nations where rule of law prevails”.

“Resort to such measures sends a wrong signal to the entire world that all is not well in the State of J&K,” the letter reads.