Srinagar: The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Tuesday passed a resolution demanding restoration of Article 370, 35A and complete statehood for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh regions.
The conglomerate spokesperson MY Tarigami, a leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), accused the government of humiliating people against which the group has registered its objection. This, he said, would prove “dangerous” to the entire nation.
“It is most unfortunate that the judicial challenges against this abrogation as a violation of the Constitution continue to remain pending before the Supreme Court even after two years,” Tarigami said in a statement issued later.
The meeting was attended for the first time by senior leaders along with over a hundred workers of various parties. It was held at the residence of PAGD head Farooq Abdullah and lasted for about three hours, according to a party leader.
The regional parties, including Congress, met a day ahead of the abrogation of Article 370 and subsequent downsizing of the region into two Union territories on August 5, 2019. The political party leaders, following their release from arbitrary detention, formed the PAGD but it was later abandoned by Congress leaders and Sajad Lone-led Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference (JKPC).
Since then the alliance has been continuously voicing concern about the mishandling of J&K by New Delhi and have accused Bharatiya Janata Party-led government of stifling dissent in the region – a charge confirmed by international rights groups. The party leaders say the “silence” in Kashmir is being misconstrued as “normalcy”.
"The suppression of civil liberties and democratic rights continues unabated. The attack on democratic rights under draconian laws like UAPA/PSA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Public Safety Act) continues as hundreds of people remain under detention without even charges being framed. New orders are being passed like non-clearance for passports and government services to anyone involved in ‘law and order’ or ‘stone pelting cases’," Tarigami said.
The PAGD leader said the Central government’s promises and claims about development, employment and other things stand exposed as “we all know what has been done and what has not.” While pointing out a recent order which states that people involved in stone pelting and other law and order issues will be denied security clearances, Tarigami said nobody can be deprived of these rights until proven guilty by court.
“It is absolutely imperative that people in every region and community in J&K remain united and not fall prey to false campaigns and attempts aimed at dividing and disempowering them further,” he added.
Leaders from the PAGD, which is led by National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah and People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti as its vice-chairman, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on June 24, for the first time since the abrogation of Article 370. This was seen as a major development in the region that could end the stalemate between Srinagar and New Delhi.
The PAGD leadership, however, later expressed their disappointment on the second anniversary of Article 370 move terming the government’s campaign to build new Kashmir as a “hoax”.
"Nothing substantial has emerged after Prime Minister’s ‘Dilli ki Doori and Dil ki Doori’ slogan during his meeting with J&K leaders in New Delhi two months ago. No confidence-building-measured have been taken to provide some relief to distressed people of the region," the resolution read.
Referring to the economy in J-K, the PAGD resolution said it is getting from bad to worse day-by-day as the tall promises of development, investment and job creation of the government “have fallen flat”.
“Instead of creating new employment opportunities, daily-wagers, casual labourers, scheme workers and other contractual employees are either not getting wages regularly or are being altogether denied their wages. Agriculture and horticulture, tourism, handicrafts, transport and other sectors are in deep crisis, the resolution said.
It said the successive executive orders post August 2019 like domicile laws, curbs on media, "intimidation" of government employees, "discriminatory" rules on employment are some of the “authoritarian diktats” that have been imposed on the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Termination of some employees without giving them a chance to be heard, has created a fear psychosis among the employees in general. Local officers are being side-lined and the abolition of state cadre is one more step towards disempowerment of the people,” the resolution said.
The meeting resolved that “unabated” killings of people, including political activists, in Kashmir “belie the government's peace and normalcy claims”.
(inputs from PTI)