Showing anger against 'Gupkar Declaration,' several political, social and religious groups here on Tuesday held a meeting and jointly demanded "separate statehood" for Jammu region.
Though no prominent political party joined the meeting, J&K National Panthers Party (JKNPP), chairman, Harsh Dev Singh said that around 20 political and social organizations participated in the meeting named "Sainik Colony Session over Jammu cause".
The meeting was aimed to "aggressively pursue Jammu statehood cause" and counter Gupkar Declaration or Gupkar Alliance.
Singh told Greater Kashmir that though development and employment was assured after abrogation of Art 370, "Jammu however got nothing thereafter."
"Delhi speaks to Kashmir and Ladakh, and Jammu gets sandwiched in between, for the troubles in Kashmir Valley despite no fault of Jammuities," Singh said.
He said: "Statehood to Jammu region is the ultimate solution. For how long Jammu will be punished for 'wrongs' in Kashmir? There is no 4G, statehood, employment, or development; why we are being punished for wrongs in Kashmir."
He said "Nobody is against any region. Give due share to Kashmir and Ladakh but it should not be at the cost of Jammu region."
He claimed that 20 social and political organisations participated in the meeting comprised Dogra Sadar Sabha (DSS) chairman Gulchain Singh Charak, Ikk Jutt Chairman Ankur Sharma, a retired Judge, Chairman Sainik Samaj Party Col SS Pathania, retired Director Colleges, Prof Jai Kumar Sharma, retired Inspector General (IG) Sudhir Singh, Shiv Sena Balsahab Thackray, Bajrang Dal, United Democratic Alliance (UDI) Rajeev Mahajan, Batwal Community, and others.
Dogra Sadar Sabha (DSS) Chairman, Gulchain Singh Charak said: "We discussed the present scenario to safeguard interests of Jammu region. It was decided to involve more political parties and make a common viewpoint. We will take a unanimous decision on the existing situation because no one is speaking for Jammu."
Charak said: "People presented their separate views like statehood for Jammu region and Kashmir as Union Territory. However, it is subject (issues discussed) to approval of all prominent people of Jammu."
DIVIDE KASHMIR INTO TWO UTs
Chairman, Ikk Jutt Jammu, Ankur Sharma told Greater Kashmir: "It is Ikk Jutt Jammu's official position that Kashmir should be divided into two Union Territories i.e. one UT within Kashmir for migrated minorities and another UT for rest of Kashmir."
To counter the Gupkar Declaration, he said: "We want unity among the like-minded people of Jammu to launch agitation for full-fledged statehood to Jammu."
Sharma said: "Today's meeting was organised to decide the modus operandi to achieve statehood for Jammu. The participants unanimously agreed that Gupkar Declaration is an ideological statement and it must have an ideological response from Jammu only then statehood can be achieved."
Sharma said: "We will decide the future course of action in the next meeting."