Kashmir's joint resistance leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik on Wednesday termed implementation of Goods and Service Tax regime in J&K as a "latest assault" on state's special status.
In a statement here, the leaders said the government is "punishing and harassing" the resilient people of Downtown by imposing restrictions and curbs there.
It has become a regular feature of the "anti-Kashmir ruling regime" which keeps breaking its records of repression and revenge on people, they said.
"The arm-twisting tactics of the authorities which the leadership is subjected to every day are being extended to traders and civil society members of Kashmir for their stand with regard
to defending the state's special status and interest of the Kashmiri people," the statement said. "Arresting and detaining them is highly regrettable and against all norms of democratic behavior."
The leaders said people of J&K for the past 70 years have been relentlessly struggling to secure their basic political right acknowledged and guaranteed by the world and are sacrificing tremendously for it. "The pro-India political parties are surreptitiously and continuously nipping at and eroding the special status accorded to the disputed territory through deceit to please their masters in New Delhi for their shameless lust of power," the statement said.
"The latest assault in this regard is the implementation of GST in its current form in the disputed land, which first the NC and now the PDP are pushing for. The J&K Coordination Committee formed by trade and business bodies and civil society experts to look into the issue and safeguard any further dilution of the special status which in turn affects the disputed nature of Kashmir issue is a welcome step and leadership extends its support to it for dealing with this matter," the statement said. "The concerns and misgivings expressed by the J&KCC should be addressed by the authorities before any move to implement the law is taken which will otherwise force people to resist it. Kashmir Bar Association should also join the traders to give them more support."
The leadership expressed deep anguish over the "indiscriminate firing" on protestors at Bamoo village in Pulwama by government forces in which more than 55 people were injured and five houses completely destroyed in two days.