Opposition parties urge release of leaders in Kashmir

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 22, 2019 Published on August 22, 2019

Opposition party leaders protest against the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, in New Delhi, on Thursday   -  R_V_Moorthy

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) took the lead to bring together most of the Opposition parties on the issue of the abrogation of Article 370 and the arrests of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing a protest rally here on Thursday, the leaders demanded that the Centre immediately release the public representatives and political activists, including former chief ministers, who are under custody in the State.

‘Undeclared Emergency’

A resolution passed at the protest meeting urged the Centre to immediately restore normalcy, and communications in the State so that people can reach out to their loved ones and family members. The resolution said that there is an undeclared emergency in the Valley. “As a consequence of the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution in respect of Jammu and Kashmir, without following due process of consultations with the people of the State, of their elected representatives, an undeclared state of Emergency has come into force in the Valley,” said the resolution.

It added that the decision of the Centre to impose a complete communication blackout and the continued detention of thousands, including former chief ministers and ministers, political leaders, ex-MPs, ex-MLAs, academics and other activists, is a matter of serious concern.

“There has been a chilling crackdown on free speech and the right of assembly. Such actions go against the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution and needs to be immediately reversed,” the resolution added.

Abrogation of Article 370

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and former chief minister of J&K Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the abrogation of Article 370 was a big blow to Kashmir. He said that if AB Vajpayee had been the Prime Minister, he would have never allowed such a move.

He congratulated the DMK for taking the leadership to organise such a rally. CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the Centre has targeted the Constitution and ‘all is not well in the Valley’.

“If all is well, then why are Opposition leaders being stopped from visiting Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Communist Party of India (CPI) General Secretary D Raja; Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav; Loktantrik Janata Dal’s Sharad Yadav; Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) Manoj Jha; and Trinamool Congress’s Dinesh Trivedi also participated in the protest along with various MPs of the Opposition parties.

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Published on August 22, 2019
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