Don’t put Kashmir on fire
Appeal democratic forces in and outside Parliament to raise voice against move to scrap special status of J&K
Srinagar, August 4: The government’s decision to deploy additional forces in Kashmir and security advisory issued asking tourists, yatris and outside state students to leave Kashmir immediately, has triggered panic and confusion among people in the Valley.
The panic escalated since Kashmir was already tense for the past few days after the Centre ordered the deployment of 100 companies of additional troops in the Valley. Massive build-up of security forces, curtailment of the Amarnath Yatra and unprecedented advisories issued to the tourists, yatris and other civilians, all created an atmosphere of heightened insecurity and fear and gave rise to the speculations about some major decision in the offing regarding the J&K’s special status.
Even during the peak of militancy, Amarnath yatra was never cancelled, tourists had were never driven out and panic was never allowed unchecked on the streets of the Valley. Why were more forces rushed to Kashmir when the government was claiming that the situation on the ground has improved since last year?
Although Parliament is in session, the Central government has given no statement whatsoever for these measures. Nor have political parties in the state been taken into confidence. This has fuelled apprehensions among the people that some drastic measures affecting the Constitutional status of J&K are being contemplated with reference to Article 35A and Article 370.
Government of India must not take any decision that would precipitate the crisis in J&K and it should ensure the constitutional guarantees given to the state are maintained. The Center must desist from making any political adventurism which will have grave consequences not only for Kashmir but for the whole country.
We also appeal people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh to remain together at this critical juncture and maintain harmony. Under these tiring circumstances, it becomes duty of every citizen to safeguard age-old traditions of tolerance of our people. We can have grievances and gaps with each other, but that is part of every society.
We also appeal to the people that whatsoever the provocations, we should protect those thousands of outside state laborers, who have come here to earn their livelihood and are working across the length and breadth of Kashmir. Kashmir has a history of communal harmony as in 1947, when whole sub-continent was in communal flames, Kashmir showed the way.