In Kashmir, there is no silence even in graveyard: CPI (M) MLA Tarigami

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on October 22, 2019

CPI(M) leader Mohd Yousuf Tarigami   -  PTI

Shock and distress of the population are unprecedented, says Mohd Yousuf Tarigami

Political leaders in the Kashmir Valley are still under arrest and the situation is far from normal after 80 days of blockade in Jammu and Kashmir. In an interview with BusinessLine, CPI(M)’s leader in the State and four-time MLA Mohd Yousuf Tarigami says despite a Supreme Court order, the administration is keeping him under arrest and no visitor is allowed at his house. The CPI(M) is approaching the Supreme Court again seeking a clarification in its order that set Tarigami free. Excerpts from the interview:

How would you describe the present situation in the State?

This is a terrible time. Everyone in this country should take note of the seriousness of the situation in Kashmir. Life is paralysed. Schools, colleges and universities are open, but without teachers and students. We have seen violence and bloodbath since 1989, but the shock and distress our population is facing now is unprecedented. The whole community, irrespective of any divisions, feels humiliated. We have stood for the country’s unity, we have faced bullets. The common people feel betrayed today. If this course is not corrected, we will have to pay a heavy price. We have to make this government accountable. Article 370 has been abrogated abruptly. The State has been dismembered. Is this the integration the BJP is claiming?

The government claims that there are no major protests and people have accepted the Centre’s decision…

Have you ever heard of protests in Tihar jail? The entire valley is like a jail now. Many of my colleagues are in detention camps or under house arrest. Young boys are languishing in jails and their parents do not know their whereabouts. There is something called fundamental rights. Shouldn’t I have the rights to express my pain? The Constitution is being violated in its entirety in Kashmir. Leading newspapers have become government gazettes. Only one political party can function and the rest of the parties will have to sit silently. People have no faith left. They are claiming normalcy. But there is no silence even in graveyard. Do not make Kashmir worse than a graveyard.

What is the impact on horticulture and tourism due to the blockades?

Guest houses and hotels have been converted into jails. Fruit crops have rotted. The carpet industry has stopped functioning. Weavers are jobless. Raw materials are not available. Lakhs of people are involved. Tourists were scared away by the administration. They were dragged out of hotels. A number of people’s livelihood is dependent on tourism. The tourism and handicraft industry functions based on internet which is not yet made available. Public transport is not functional. The government has created a lot of problems in transportation of apples and pears.

Published on October 22, 2019

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