Govt pursuing ‘blind law’ in J&K: Azad

NEW DELHI, Sept 5: The Congress today accused the BJP Government of pursuing “blind law” in Jammu and Kashmir and alleged that it caused a lot of harm to the country and the Constitution.
It also feared that if the ruling dispensation wishes, there can be a Kashmir-like situation in any part of the country.
Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Ghulam Nabi Azad said one month has passed since people were detained.
“This is probably the first time in the world, not just in India, that a law was framed where people of the state were detained for over a month and cut off from the entire world,” he claimed.
“We have never seen such ‘andha kanoon’ (blind law) anywhere in the world which the BJP has implemented in Jammu and Kashmir. This has also caused a lot of harm to the country,” Azad said.
The Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said there is no telephone or Internet facility, people are not allowed to meet each other and leaders who are outside Jammu and Kashmir are not allowed to visit their home state.
He said three former Chief Ministers have been kept under “house arrest” and the fourth, who is in Delhi, is not allowed to visit his home.
“Maybe, this is the first such incident since 1947 too as no such incident happened where people cannot speak frankly, nor raise their voice against the government, cannot move around freely and talk to anyone, including their relatives,” Azad said.
His party colleague Shashi Tharoor said, “Is this Indian democracy at its finest or a violation of the basic spirit of our Constitution? If it can be done to Kashmir today, it can be done to any part of India tomorrow. All you have to do is declare president’s rule, do what you like to the state and your appointed governor will give you all the consent you need.”
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is “strange and scary” for the last one month.
“All the political people in Jammu and Kashmir, those who were considered the mainstream of politics in the state, are either arrested or detained. There are many people who are not involved in politics and belong to different professions — lawyers, businessmen and intellectuals — they are also under arrest,” he said.
“The question arises if the BJP-NDA Government believes that the step it has taken in Jammu and Kashmir is the right one, is in national interest and is in the interest of J&K? Why have those people been arrested? Why school and colleges are not running in Jammu and Kashmir? Why telecommunication and internet is suspended?” Tewari posed, adding these are basic questions that the entire country should ask.
“An atmosphere has been created… anybody who comments on the real situation is declared anti-national. This is not strengthening India’s democracy, but weakening it. All progressive and secular forces should be concerned,” he said.
Tharoor said 30 days ago Kashmir was “literally plunged into darkness as people were essentially shut in their homes”, politicians arrested or detained.
“There is a situation, with no telephone lines, means of communication, no colleges, no schools, no examinations,” the Congress MP said.
“The Constitutional sleight of hand shown by the Government is extremely worrying for those of us who care about Indian democracy,” Tharoor said.
The Congress MP alleged that the government has essentially changed the status of a state, and with its legislature suspended, the governor has taken upon himself the right to take decisions.
He said rights of the legislature to respect the wishes and aspirations for people of Kashmir are suddenly transferred to Parliament, where the BJP has a majority and where there are four Kashmiri MPs out of which one is “under house arrest” in Srinagar.
The Congress also put out a video on its official Twitter handle of some people, who it claimed were Kashmiris, talking about the restrictions imposed on them and the harassment in its wake.
“The status of Kashmir from the voice Kashmiris. P.S. Viewer discretion is advised, the video contains the truth. P.P.S. Faces have been deliberately blurred to protect the individuals involved in the making of this video (sic),” the party tweeted along with the videos.
In another tweet, the Congress said, “Art 370 had a sub-clause that stated only the State’s Constituent Assembly could revoke it. J&K’s Constituent Assembly was dissolved in 1956, thereby changing the temporary nature of the article to permanent, as was upheld by an SC Constitutional bench (sic).” (PTI)