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Centre choking breathing space of J&K people: Gupkar Alliance

Civil liberties, freedom of press and freedom of speech are under assault while police stations and jails are being filled with innocent people, said Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami.

Statesman News Service | Jammu |

Expressing anguish over the ‘fast deteriorating situation’ in Jammu and Kashmir, People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Saturday alleged that “the Centre was choking even the breathing space of the people of J&K, leaving them suffering on every front.”

The PAGD also expressed concern over the attempts being made to “distort” facts about the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India in 1947.

Addressing a press conference in Srinagar at the residence of Dr Farooq Abdullah after a meeting of the PAGD, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said that the alliance leaders discussed the present political scenario in J&K and expressed serious concern over the “fast deteriorating situation in Kashmir as well Jammu.”

“After taking away the constitutional right of Article 370, other ways of survival are being gradually choked. Civil liberties, freedom of press and freedom of speech are under assault while police stations and jails are being filled with innocent people,” said Tarigami, who was flanked by PAGD chief Dr Farooq Abdullah, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, ANC vice president Muzaffar Shah and others.

Tarigami said that it was high time that the people and the political parties of J&K must wake up and raise a collective and united voice against the “present onslaught of New Delhi on the people here.” He said that outside every police station, parents are waiting to see their children out.

“Outside jails have now no capacity given the number of people of Kashmir lodged there,” Tarigami alleged.

He termed the frequent visits of Union Ministers as a “move to push the people of Kashmir to wall further.” “These ministers are coming to ensure suppression is tightened further and whosoever raises his voice is put behind the bars,” he said.

Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for stating that power and democracy was taken to grassroots level in J&K, Tarigami said in the Naya Kashmir document, decentralization has been prioritized and democracy was already at the grassroots level.

He said that if J&K is being converted into the Gujarat model, why is the sale of liquor, beer and drugs being allowed freely.

About giving voting rights to any one by authorizing the Tehsildar, Tarigami said that giving voting rights is the prerogative of the Election Commission of India. “How come the government was issuing orders,” he asked.

“On the next day of the order, the media is being told that the order stands withdrawn. Isn’t this a mockery of democracy,” he further asked.

Replying to a query, PAGD chief Dr Farooq Abdullah asked the government where the 50,000 jobs are promised by it. “Situation is grim as the number of unemployed youth is swelling. I visited Marwah, Dachan in Jammu region and found that a Sub-District Hospital has no doctor at all,” he said.