The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration on Tuesday adopted a resolution to restore Article 370 and Article 35A that were abrogated by the Centre on August 5, 2019, reported the Hindustan Times. The erstwhile state was also bifurcated into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh – following the August 5 decision.
While Article 370 gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Article 35A granted the erstwhile state’s legislature the power to define the “permanent residents” of the state and provide them with special rights and privileges. The Gupkar alliance, a tie-up of six parties, including the National Conference and People Democratic Party, was formed in October with the objective of reinstating Article 370.
The alliance described the August 5 decision as “unconstitutional” and called for the “re-unification of J&K and Ladakh as a state”, reported NDTV.
The spokesperson of the alliance MY Tarigami made the announcement about the resolution after a meeting to discuss the situation in the Union Territory. The meeting was also called to discuss how the alliance would work to restore the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Tarigami, who is a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), warned the Centre against considering “the current graveyard’s silence in J&K as normalcy”, reported The Hindu.
“To India’s civil society and political parties, we want to convey that we too want to live a life of dignity,” Tarigami said. “However, the current government takes pride in inflicting humiliation on us. It’s unacceptable to people of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh.”
He said the central agencies such as the National Investigation Agency and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducting raids on the political leaders of the Union Territory seemed to be aimed at showing that they were “thieves and criminals”.
“We appeal all that the current trend of humiliating people should end,” the spokesperson said. “Besides, the voices are being muzzled. It has dangerous consequences for the entire nation.”
Tarigami also accused the Union Territory administration of sidelining local residents for top posts. He said that most of the top posts are held by outsiders.
The spokesperson also questioned the Centre’s decision to not issue security clearance required for passport applications and other government services to residents involved in stone-pelting incidents and “other crimes prejudicial to security”.
Tarigami said that no one can be deprived of their basic rights until proven guilty.
He added that the Centre stands exposed on claims about development, investment and employment. “Even people in Jammu have started feeling lack of governance and development now,” Tarigami said.
The meeting was held at Gupkar Alliance chief Farooq Abdullah’s residence. After the two-hour-long meeting, Muzaffar Shah, senior vice president of Awami National Conference, which is part of the alliance, said the group will also launch a mass contact programme.
Almost all of Kashmir Valley’s political leadership, including Peoples Democratic chief Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, were put under detention after Article 370 was abrogated.
Farooq Abdullah was released from detention on March 13, 2020. Omar Abdullah’s detention was also revoked over a week later. Sajjad Lone was released in July 2020, while Mufti’s detention ended on October 13 last year.