Leaders of several Opposition parties, led by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, held a protest at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Thursday against the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The leaders demanded the release of those who are in custody in the state, restoration of normalcy and the resumption of telecom services.
Opposition leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Manish Tewari, Manoj Jha, Sharad Yadav, Sitaram Yechury, Brinda Karat, Mukul Wasnik, Tiruchi Siva and Dinesh Trivedi were among those present. Congress MP Karti Chidambaram, whose father P Chidambaram was arrested in the INX Media case on Wednesday, also joined the protest. Leaders from the National Conference, whose leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah have been detained, were also present.
In a resolution with a list of their demands, the leaders said an “undeclared state of Emergency” had come into force in the Kashmir Valley. They said the detentions and arrests were a matter of serious concern. “There has been a chilling crackdown on free speech and right of assembly,” the resolution stated. “Such actions go against the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution and need to be immediately reversed.”
The DMK had announced the protest on Monday and urged “all like-minded parties” to join it.
On August 5, the government removed Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and split the state into two Union Territories that will come into effect on October 31. The region was put under heavy security restrictions, which have been eased gradually since. Several political leaders – including former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti – are still under detention.
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