Around 30 delegations meet envoys in Jammu
JAMMU, Feb 13: Twenty five envoys from different countries including Europe were today briefed by Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu, Chief Justice of High Court Gita Mittal and top brass of civil and police administration here on second day of their visit to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The envoys, who had reached here from Srinagar this morning, returned to the Union capital in the evening.
Sources told the Excelsior that the Lieutenant Governor met the envoys at a private hotel in Narwal, where they were staying, over luncheon meeting and briefed them on all aspects of situation in Jammu and Kashmir including militancy, law and order and cross-border infiltration by Pakistan.
Joined by his Advisors Farooq Khan and KK Sharma, Murmu was with the foreign envoys for about an hour and was reported to have told them about prevailing situation and steps being taken by the Government for restoration of complete normalcy in the Valley including lifting of partial restriction from the internet by restoring 2G services on mobile phones last month.
However, there was no official word on the meeting between Murmu, his Advisors and the envoys of various countries.
Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam and Director General of Police Dilbag Singh also brief the envoys on situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
The group comprised envoys from Afghanistan, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, the European Union, France, Germany, Republic of Guinea, Hungary, Italy and Kenya.
Envoys from Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Namibia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Rwanda, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Uganda and Uzbekistan were also part of it.
Meanwhile, most of the 30 delegations of various social organizations narrated the visiting foreign envoys about ‘ill-effects’ of Article 370 and highlighted how it had been grossly discriminatory against marginalized and neglected lot of the society.
Radhika Gill, 20, a Dalit girl, narrated her tale of woes before the visiting foreign envoys during the meeting of the civil society to highlight plight of the ‘victims’ of Articles 370 and 35-A.
She could not control her emotions while observing that decision of the Union Government to scrap Article 370 has liberated Valmikis from the ‘slavery of decades’.
“We were the worst victims because it was all due to Article 370 that educated youth of Valmiki community were debarred from getting respectable jobs”, she told the visiting envoys and exuded confidence that scrapping of this Article would open the doors for her to adopt the profession of her choice.
As all ‘victims’ of Article 370-including West Pakistani Refugees, Gorkhas, Valmikis and women married outside J&K, narrated their plight one by one, one of envoys asked, “If this Article was so discriminatory against marginalized and neglected lot of the society why you people remained silent for years together?”.
However, the delegation members said they had been raising their voice against Articles 370 and 35A from time to time at all possible forums both within Jammu and Kashmir as well as outside the erstwhile State.
Sandhya Dhar, a physically challenged woman briefed the visiting envoy that Article 370 was a hurdle in extending Acts made by the successive Central Governments for “persons with disabilities”.
Another delegation of West Pakistani refugees led by Labha Ram Gandhi briefed the visiting delegation about problems being faced by them due to Article 370.
A delegation of Kashmiri Pandits comprising GL Raina, KK Khosa, Ashok Bararu and Dr Bharti briefed the envoys about the mass exodus of the Hindu minority in 1990 from Kashmir after Pak sponsored terrorism erupted in the Valley and how they became refugees in their own country.
A delegation of refugees from PoJK led by YR Gupta briefed the visiting envoys about holocaust of 1947 and problems being faced by the displaced persons since 1947. The delegation hoped that abrogation of Article 370 will solve their problems.
Members of the Gujjar community comprising Abbas Choudhary and Ayub Choudhary said that STs in J&K were the worst victims of the so-called special status because there were no political reservation due to Article 370. They hoped that abrogation of Article 370 will empower them politically.
Members of Gorkha community led by Karuna Gorkha briefed the envoys about plight the valiant community was facing due to Article 370.
Meanwhile, Army officials briefed the delegation of foreign envoys in Srinagar this morning before they left for Jammu.
The envoys were briefed about the security situation at Badami Bagh Cantonment in Srinagar, officials said.