National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, who is attending a Parliament session for the first time since the Centre abrogated the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, said on Saturday that the Union Territory deserved the same rights as the rest of the country, reported ANI.
“Jammu and Kashmir situation is such that where progress was supposed to happen, there is no progress,” Abdullah said in Lok Sabha, according to ThePrint. “Today our children, shopkeepers don’t have a 4G facility that is there in the rest of the country. How will they study, get education, when everything these days is on the internet? If India is progressing, does Jammu and Kashmir have no right to progress with the rest of the country?”
The National Conference chief also pointed out that border skirmishes have been on the rise and locals were dying. “A way has to be found to deal with this,” he said during the Zero Hour of the Session, according to PTI. “Except for talks.... As you are talking to China to attempt that it withdraws [from Ladakh border], we should also talk to our [other] neighbour to find a way to get out of this situation.” Abdullah was calling for talks with Pakistan.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, who was released from detention in March, also expressed happiness over the Indian Army’s admission that three men were mistakenly killed in the Shopian encounter. On Friday, the Indian Army said that it had found “prima facie evidence” that its personnel misused the powers conferred on them under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1990. It added that disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act had been initiated against the accused troops.
The Army had launched a formal inquiry last month into the killing of three men by the armed forces on July 18. The family members of those killed had claimed that they were labourers, not militants, as labelled by the security forces.