Opposition Parties Protest, Demand Release of Detained J&K Leaders

Opposition Parties Protest, Demand Release of Detained J&K Leaders


Opposition parties, including the Congress, the TMC and the DMK, staged a protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Thursday, 22 August, demanding the release of the political leaders under detention in Jammu and Kashmir.

Congress leader P Chidambaram's son Karti also joined the protest. Chidambaram, a former Union finance minister, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday night in connection with a money-laundering case related to INX Media.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary D Raja, Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav, Loktantrik Janata Dal's Sharad Yadav, RJD's Manoj Jha and TMC's Dinesh Trivedi were among those who took part in the protest.

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In a resolution passed during the protest, the Opposition parties said as a consequence of abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution without consulting with the people of the state or their representatives, an undeclared state of Emergency had come to force in the Valley.

"We stand by the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their difficult hour. The decisions taken by the Union government to impose a complete communication blackout and the continued detention of former chief ministers and political leaders... members of civil society and even innocent citizens running into thousands are matters of serious concern.” the resolution stated.

"There has been a chilling crackdown on free speech and the right of assembly. Such actions go against the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India and need to be immediately reversed. We demand immediate release of all public representatives of mainstream political parties and innocent citizens," it added.

The leaders raised slogans demanding restoration of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, resumption of telecommunication services in the Valley and immediate release of all political leaders who have been detained.

The National Conference, whose leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah are among those detained in the Valley after the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status on 5 August, also took part in the protest.

(Text copy published in an arrangement with PTI)

Also Read : Ex-Defence Officers, Bureaucrats Move SC Against Article 370 Move

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