SRINAGAR, Aug 19: National Conference MP Hasnain Masoodi today said the Centre’s move to abrogate provisions of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir was a “betrayal” carried out “unconstitutionally”.
Masoodi, a retired judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, said the bifurcation of the State in two Union Territories cannot be done without the consent of the State Assembly.
“Leave aside Jammu and Kashmir, it cannot happen in any State without taking views of the State Legislature into consideration. In this case, they became the petitioner, respondent, advocate and judge all by themselves,” Masoodi told reporters here.
“Fundamentally a betrayal has happened and it has been done unconstitutionally. They are celebrating a betrayal. We are only talking about the Constitution… Promises were made to us in 1947, there was Delhi agreement. Those promises were made unanimously but now all they have been broken unilaterally,” he said.
He said people of Kashmir were concerned about the Centre’s move as they have lost not only their special status but also their identity.
“People are very concerned about the development… There are areas with minimal restrictions but people are not coming out. You have to look at what we have lost – we have lost the State, flag, our Constitution, identity and our official language,” he said.
Asked if the three Lok Sabha MPs of the National Conference will resign to protest the Centre’s move, Masoodi said the decision has to be taken by the leadership which is under arrest.
“When the leadership is released, they will take a decision which will be in the interest of the people of the State,” he said.
Masoodi said he and his party colleague Mohammad Akbar Lone have filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against this move.
“We have a solid case. We have lost our state – a state which was once ruled by kings like Avantivarman and Zainul Abidin. It has now been reduced to a municipality,” he said.
Lone said if resignation from the Lok Sabha will “help our cause, we will resign right away. We are not there to enjoy the privileges of an MP”.
He said there was a lot of anger among the people over the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 and they will oppose it once the restrictions are lifted.