Little-known J&K outfit allowed to hold press meet

Restrictions were reimposed in many areas of Srinagar on Monday to foil any Muharram processions.

Restrictions were reimposed in many areas of Srinagar on Monday to foil any Muharram processions.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

J&KPM avoids taking a position on the Aug. 5 decision

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday allowed first political activity in 36 days by permitting a presser of a little known outfit, the J&K Political Movement (I) (J&KPM), at the Media Facilitation Centre (MFC) here.

Dr. Shahid Khan, a former journalist and head of the J&KPM, spoke but avoided taking any position on the revocation of provisions of Article 370. He, however, blamed the previous regimes in J&K and the regional parties of “playing negative politics in the past”.

“The ruling leaders of J&K always played dual character and politics of manipulation for achieving their own goals. They have brought problems instead of solutions. They have been the reason for every problem that J&K faces today,” he said.

He suggested that people need to end the ways followed in the past decades. “It has achieved us nothing but bloodshed and miseries,” he said.

Mr. Khan was accompanied by militant-turned-counter-insurgent and ex-Congress leader Mushtaq Ahmad Tantray, Asif Abdullah, advocate Raja Ashraf and Omar Ahmad. They were granted permission by the government to hold the presser.

Refusing to comment on Article 370 and J&K’s special status, these members, in a joint statement, asked the Central government to maintain the domicile rights. “The Centre should provide guarantees as in other States on land and restore social security among people. No hazardous industry should be set up in J&K’s fragile ecology,” the statement said.

They also demanded the restoration of communication lines and the release of the detained youth. “All detained members of the civil society, if employing non-violent means to express their viewpoint, should also be released,” said Dr. Khan.

The presser assumes significance because political activities of all major political parties such as the National Conference, People’s Democratic Party, Congress, People’s Conference and the J&K People’s Movement have come to a halt since the August 5 decision to revoke J&K’s special status. Most of the offices are also sealed by the security forces.

All top mainstream leaders, including former Chief Ministers Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, remain detained for the 36th day on Monday.

In Jammu, former Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta directed the BJP leaders to count the merits after nullification of Articles 370 & 35A. “The merits should be shared among the Maharashtra populace and urge the businessmen there to invest for the prosperity and development of the common people of Jammu and Kashmir,” a BJP spokesman said.

Restrictions, shutdown hit life in Valley

Meanwhile, strict restrictions were reimposed in the Shia majority areas in Srinagar on Monday to foil any Muharram processions. No movement of vehicles and people were allowed in Hawal, Alamgari Bazar and Lal Bazar by security personnel.

The authorities have lifted restrictions from 96 police stations out of 111 in the Valley. However, a spontaneous shutdown over the Centre's decision on Article 370 kept shops, markets and private offices closed across the Valley. Train services remain suspended and the public transport was off the roads. However, private traffic plied normally.

Life remained affected in the Valley due to restrictions and the shutdown. The landlines have been restored but mobile phones and Internet services continue to be suspended. The government's move to open schools continue to see any improvement in attendance of students.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 8:17:26 PM |

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