2nd anniversary of abrogation of Art 370: PAGD slams BJP’s Naya Kashmir slogan | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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2nd anniversary of abrogation of Art 370: PAGD slams BJP’s Naya Kashmir slogan

ByMir Ehsan, Srinagar
Aug 05, 2021 12:55 AM IST

In a statement on Wednesday, PAGD spokesperson Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami said, “The hoax of BJP’s Naya Kashmir is a joke now. People have started questioning those in authority as [to] what they have achieved by destroying Kashmir”

On the eve of the second anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Wednesday termed the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “Naya Kashmir” as a mere joke and questioned the aim behind the August 2019 move.

PAGD leaders speak to the media in Srinagar. (HT file photo)
PAGD leaders speak to the media in Srinagar. (HT file photo)

“The hoax of BJP’s Naya Kashmir is a joke now. People have started questioning those in authority as (to) what they have achieved by destroying Kashmir which came into being through protracted historic struggle of the people of J&K,” PAGD spokesperson Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami said in a statement.

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The five-party alliance also alleged that the government had crossed all limits of constitutionality by demolishing the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.

“By demolishing the constitution of J&K, the government crossed all the limits of constitutionality. By downgrading a historic state and dividing it into two separate Union Territories without the consent of the people and also ignoring the resolution adopted by J&K legislature on March 3, 2004, to preserve the unity and the secular character of state, (the government) has set a precedent that any state can cease to exist as a state and can be carved up into any number of fragments any time, by placing it under the governor’s rule,” the statement read.

On August 5, 2019, the Centre had abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution that gave Jammu and Kashmir a special status and bifurcated the state into two Union territories.

As a pre-emptive measure, Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was imposed in the state and prominent state political leaders such as former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were placed under house arrest. Communication lines, too, were snapped while internet and mobile services were suspended.

Tarigami, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi along with 13 other leaders from the Union territory on June 24, said the nullification of Article 35 A made the status of permanent residents redundant.

“Protection of jobs and the land rights was removed arbitrarily which deepened the alienation and sense of insecurity in all regions. The economy of J&K has virtually collapsed as tourism, trade agriculture, horticulture and handicraft sectors were badly hit. Employment opportunities are shrinking. Is corruption any less and governance any better? The fact remains that not a single claim stands the test of scrutiny,” he said in the statement.

The four-time legislator and general secretary of CPI(M) added that continuous restrictions on the movement of people and attempts to gag the media had resulted in a forced silence.

“Over the last two years, it has become amply clear why the Centre was so insistent on taking such drastic, unlawful measures... Suppression of civil and democratic rights continues, indiscriminate arrests...and issuing of diktats like not to provide clearance for passport and government services if anyone is involved in ‘law and order, and stone pelting cases’ is one more addition,” he said.

Tarigami was referring to a recent order of the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) denying security clearance for passport and other government services to all those involved in “law and order and stone pelting cases”.

“The Centre would realise the futility of the decisions taken on August 5, 2019 and our struggle in defence of our rights...through peaceful and legal means will continue,” he added.

Reacting to the PAGD statement, BJP spokesperson Altaf Thakur said there’s no place for anti-national elements or those spreading terrorism in “Naya Kashmir”.

“In the last two years, the main focus of the government has been to empower people at the grassroots level which was done by holding elections of block development councils and the district development councils and providing them with funds. Apart from development, there has been action against anti-national elements. This is our vision for Naya Kashmir,” he said.

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