Despite the Central Government and the BJP claiming from the rooftops that the situation in Jammu & Kashmir is “normal”, things are quite the opposite.
Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI – The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) general secretary, Sitaram Yechury, on Friday scoffed at the Modi Government’s claim of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir saying even the party’s central committee member from Kashmir Mohammad, Yusuf Tarigami, was not allowed to attend a meeting of the committee.
Briefing the media here about the committee’s decisions, Yechury expressed grave concern over the grim situation prevalent in the Kashmir Valley under the draconian restrictions since August 5 after the government arbitrarily repealed Article 370 which guaranteed special status to the state.
“Despite the Central Government and the BJP claiming from the rooftops that the situation in Jammu & Kashmir is “normal”, things are quite the opposite.”
In this context, he cited the example of Yusuf Tarigami, who was not even allowed to attend the meeting of his party even though the government claimed in the Supreme Court that he was not under detention.
Questioning the government’s claim, he pointed to the state of affairs in the state: “The clampdown on communication continues, public transport is off the roads, schools and other educational institutions, shops and other business establishments continue to remain shut.”
Pointing out that the situation has continued for over two months now has putting the people in unprecedented hardships, he declared that all the claims made by the government are diametrically opposite to the ground realities.
He said the central committee was critical of the government’s decision to hold Block Development Council elections in the state. It termed the announcement as a travesty of democracy made with the sole intention to portray to the world that “normalcy” is prevailing in the state.
The CPI (M) reiterated its demand for restoration of communication, movement, civil liberties and release of all political leaders and activists under illegal detention, he added.
The CPI-M leader conveyed the committee’s opposition to the extension of the National Register of Citizen (NRC) outside Assam. The committee pointed out that the NRC was part of the Assam Accord and hence was specific to the state of Assam.
The committee termed the government’s moves such as the preparation of the National Population Register (NPR), verification of voter identity cards, etc. unnecessary in the wake of the universalisation of the Aadhaar cards. It alleged in the name of NPR the government is preparing ground for an all-India NRC.
Referring to the BJP chief ministers’ demand for conducting NRC in their respective states and Central government’s directive to some states to construct detention centres, the CPI (M) leader said all these measures are being taken with an intent to sharpen polarisation in the country and thereby consolidate the BJP’s “communal” vote bank.
“When all these already exist, the simultaneous talk of extending the NRC beyond Assam, enumeration of the NPR, duplication of the electoral rolls through the electoral verification process and the assurance of passing the Citizenship Amendment Bill, all point to the efforts to sharpen polarization in the country in order to consolidate the RSS/BJP’s communal vote bank,” he said.
On economic crisis, he said the unprecedented slowdown and the continuing agrarian distress are source of greater miseries for the people. As a consequence of the economic recession unemployment has risen to unprecedented levels as is evident from the government’s own figures which put the total unemployment in the country at five crore while unemployment among youth is estimated to be 28 per cent.