NPP protests, seeks statehood for Jammu
JAMMU, Nov 4: Agitated over the down grading of J&K State to Union Territory by the BJP led Government, a large number of Jammu Kashmir National Panthers Party (NPP) activists led by party chairman, Harsh Dev Singh and party president, Balwant Singh Mankotia held a strong protest demonstration at Exhibition Ground here today.
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Describing the decision of transition of State to UT as retrograde move and against the aspirations of the people, the protestors raised slogans against the Govt and demanded separate Statehood for Jammu region. They also tried to take out protest march on the roads but were stopped by strong contingent of police.
Addressing the media, Harsh Dev regretted that 200- year- old Dogra State which had a pristine culture and heritage was relegated to UT by the NDA Govt against the wishes of the people. “The sinister move not only made a mockery of the Dogras but dishonoured the historic decision of Maharaja Hari Singh, the great Dogra ruler who acceded the State with Union of India on October 26, 1947. Never before in the history of the country had any state been converted into UT. The step being totalitarian and dictatorial has triggered serious public outrage which could lead to a civil unrest”, Harsh Dev said.
He said that J&K was an independent state under Maharaja and it was followed by a Prime Minister and Sadar-e-Riyasat for the state which eventually made way for CM and Governor. And now, with Lt. Governor to take over, J&K’s affairs would be run by a Secretary rank officer . The elected representatives in the new political apparatus would lose most of the powers which were conferred upon them as regular members of the State Legislature. The new arrangement in the UT would witness drastic disempowerment of the MLAs and Ministers, he added.
Seeking a separate state for Jammu region, Singh cautioned the Union Govt to stop taking the people of the region for granted.
BS Mankotia, Rejesh Padogtra, Shanker Singh Chib, Sham Gorkha and others also spoke on the occasion.