Three years of Article 370 abrogation: Leaders in Kashmir demand restoration of special status


As the abrogation of Article 370 and creation of two Union Territories from the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir completed three years on Friday, mainstream political leaders in Kashmir said they will continue to struggle for restoration of J&K’s special status.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti held protest demonstration for restoration of Article 370 outside the party office in Srinagar on the third year of abrogation of the Article 370 by Indian Parliament.

Three years ago, on August 5, Article 370 was revoked by the Parliament and the state was divided into two Union Territories – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, and all mainstream leaders were detained.

Along with her dozens of supporters and party leaders Mehbooba Mufti on Friday took out protest outside the party office at Residency Road Srinagar. The protestors raised slogans against revocation of J&K’s special status, arrests and killings, besides seeking resolution of Kashmir issue and release of prisoners.

The protest was held amid tight security arrangements. Police, however, didn’t allow them to carry out the protest march. “We had planned to take out protest on the third year of abrogation of Article 370 up to city centre Lal Chowk. The police didn’t allow us to move beyond our office,” PDP spokesman, Mohit Bhan said.

Addressing the workers, Mehbooba Mufti said that for people of Kashmir August 5, is a black day. “Our special status, flag and our constitution was snatched from us in an undemocratic way. These rights were given to us by the Indian constitution,” she said.

Later in a series of tweets, PDP president, said that BJP designs have got unravelled.

“As BJPs malicious designs for J&K have unravelled, the pattern of suppression & fear is now knocking at the door in rest of the country too. Weaponising their pet agencies & using terror laws to stifle dissent has become the norm,” Mehbooba Mufti said.

“Your silence & complicity emboldened GOI to wreck havoc. Today they are trampling upon Indian democracy by subverting every pillar that supported it. BJP’s so called integration of J&K which never happened has cost us heavily,” she said in another tweet.

Mehbooba Mufti said J&K has slipped on the development indices index. “J&K has slipped on the development indices index. Unemployment & inflation is at an all time high. The facade of normalcy is as real as ‘Sabka saath sabka vikaas’.”

National Conference, vice president, Omar Abdullah said that they will continue their peaceful struggle. “We will continue our peaceful struggle using all legal & constitutional means to challenge what was done to J&K on 5th Aug 2019. The road ahead may be a long one, full of twists & turns but it’s not one @JKNC_will abandon,” Omar tweeted. National Conference also held a function at its party office Nawai Subh in Srinagar.

National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah, who presided the meeting said that August 5, 2019 marks breach of trust, decisions are not acceptable to the party. “We hope that SC will reverse the unilateral, undemocratic and unconstitutional decisions. Will continue to fight for our rights peacefully,” he said.

CPI (M) general secretary and spokesman of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgamation of mainstream parties demanding restoration of special status, Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami said that three years ago J&K was robbed.

“On this day in 2019, the Central government upended the constitution and robbed Jammu & Kashmir of what it hard achieved after a hard-fought battle by locking away thousands overnight. We reiterate our cast iron resolve to unitedly work for restoration of what was snatched from us,” said Tarigami in a tweet. Meanwhile, the day passed peacefully without any incident as all the shops and business establishments remained open across Kashmir and the traffic was plying normally.