Kulgam: Senior Congress leader and former leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad Saturday called for enacting a new law in Jammu and Kashmir to secure the land and job rights of the people.
“Our land and job rights which were taken away following the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35-A on 5 August 2019 should be secured by enacting a new law once the statehood is restored,” he said addressing a rally in Devsar area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.
Azad, a former chief minister, also pitched for the restoration of statehood before holding elections in J&K.
“The statehood should be restored once the delimitation exercise is completed. Only then should elections take place,” he said, adding that Kashmiri Pandits should also be brought back to Kashmir.
Azad said that no wise person could think of downgrading the status of a state to a union territory.
“Usually union territories are upgraded to a state. But in our case, a state was downgraded to union territories. It is like demoting a DGP to the post of a Thanedar (police post incharge), CM to an MLA, and a Chief Secretary to a Patwari. No wise person can do this,” he said.
Azad said that they would continue to fight for the restoration of statehood and assembly.
“We have already raised the demand in an All Party Meeting on behalf of the people of J&K and all political parties,” he said.
Azad also questioned the recent probe ordered into the Hyderpora encounter. “How can a Police team probe the allegations against its forces? Only an impartial judicial probe can ensure justice,” he said.
Azad said that if such incidents happen in the capital city, people would question what would be happening in the hinterlands.
“Even in my tenure, one such fake encounter happened in which three street vendors were picked up from Srinagar and later killed by dubbing them as militants, However, I ordered a high-level inquiry and 13 people including an SSP and three Sub-Inspectors are serving imprisonment for the past 14 years. This is what we call justice,” he said.