Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Friday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre of turning Kashmir into a “virtual prison” and a graveyard, PTI reported.
Tarigami, who addressed the foundation day programme of party newspaper Ganashakti in Kolkata, called on the public to “rise in protest against the oppression of people of Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370 and 35A of the Constitution”.
Tarigami was placed in detention following India’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status. However, he was allowed to move out of Kashmir for medical treatment following a Supreme Court order in September. The Narendra Modi government had detained many Kashmiri politicians, including three former chief ministers – National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti – since August 5.
Tarigami also dismissed the Centre’s claim that not a single bullet had been fired since the security lockdown. He said there was no longer any need to fire bullets as Kashmir had been turned into a “graveyard”.
“How much freedom we got after [Union Home Minister] Amit Shah repealed Article 370,” Tarigami remarked sarcastically. “He says everyday there has been no firing and the situation is peaceful. You have made Kashmir a graveyard. What is the point of firing then?”
Tarigami said former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik had said there were no plans to revoke the Union Territory’s special status, but pointed out that it was suddenly announced in Parliament. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader accused the government of violating the spirit of Constitution.
“Some people feel surprised how CAA [Citizenship Amendment Act] and NRC [National Register of Citizens] can come all off a sudden,” he said. “It is not, it was all in their mind, part of their agenda. Today it is Kashmir, tomorrow it can be somewhere else.”
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims. At least 26 people have died so far in protests against the Act.
The National Register of Citizens is a proposed exercise to list undocumented immigrants. It was conducted out in Assam last year, leading to the exclusion of 19 lakh people, or 6% of the state’s population.