Congress slams govt over month of Kashmir clampdown

Congress slams govt over month of Kashmir clampdown

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New Delhi: Congress general secretary in-charge of Haryana Ghulam Nabi Azad addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Sep 4, 2019. Also seen Congress general secretary organisation K C Venugopal. (Photo: IANS)
New Delhi, Sep 5 (IANS) On the completion of one month of the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two union territories, the Congress on Thursday slammed the government and accused it of weakening democracy.
Several Congress leaders put out video messages on the party's official Twitter handle with the hashtag 'one month of Jammu and Kashmir suffering' and criticised the government for putting the people and political leaders under "house arrest" and complete shutdown of the communication system.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "This is for the first time in world history when a law for a state has been made and the people have been confined to their houses with telephone lines cut, no mobile connections, no internet, and even the leaders those who are outside the Valley are not allowed to go to there."
Taking a dig at the Modi government, Azad said, "The three former Chief Ministers (Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah) are kept under house arrest and a fourth former Chief Minister (Azad) was not allowed to go to his home."
"This has happened for the first time since 1947 in Indian history. Earlier no such situation arose in the country where the people cannot talk, raise voice against government, cannot walk, cannot go out and buy milk, speak to others and meet their relatives," he said.
The government abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution from Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 that gave special status to the state. The government also bifurcated the state into two union territories.
Following the decision to abrogate Article 370, the government imposed a massive clampdown in the Valley by detaining most of the political leaders and keeping the former chief ministers under House arrest while phone lines, mobile and internet connections were suspended as precautionary measures.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor also lambasted at the government over its decision and said, "Thirty days ago Kashmir plunged into complete darkness. As people were essentially shut up in their homes, politicians were arrested or detained."
"This situation is not a normal situation. There is not much indication of improvement. Reports on the ground even in the areas where the curfew has been lifted or partially lifted does not indicate happiness," he said.
"How would you like to live without any means of communication with your loved ones for a full month? That's what Kashmir is for last one month," the former Union minister said.
--IANS
aks/kr

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