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Art 370 is permanent till plebiscite is held: Farooq

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Apr 9: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah Tuesday said that Article 370 of the Constitution was permanent provision till a plebiscite is held in the state.

Addressing an election rally at Hazratbal on the banks of Dal Lake, Farooq said that upcoming parliamentary elections will decide whether India would remain “secular” or not.  

“They (BJP) want to bloom only one rose. They want to make us slaves. Indian Muslims won’t live like slaves,” the National Conference president said, who is also party’s candidate for central Kashmir parliamentary seat.

 

He accused BJP of being responsible for killings in Kashmir.

“They are responsible for killings in the last five years. You spread hatred over the years and have forced youth, who faced harassment, to pick up the guns. How many dead bodies you want Rajnath Singh?” he asked, while saying that the Union Home Minister has said that ban on civilian traffic for two days won’t be revoked.

Referring to BJP’s manifesto, the former chief minister said that Article 370 of the constitution was permanent provision till plebiscite was held in the state.

“They want us to be slaves. We accede to India to get equal respect. Our accession is based on communication, foreign affairs, and defence. We have already passed a resolution for restoration of Autonomy to the state,” he said, asking people to vote in favour of NC candidates. “This election will decide whether India will remain secular or not.”

In the manifesto, the BJP said they are committed to abrogate Article 370 and Article 35 A.  “We reiterate our position since the time of the Jan Sangh to abrogation of Article 370. We are committed to annulling Article 35A of the Constitution of India as the provision is discriminatory against non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir,” reads the manifesto.

Farooq claimed that BJP was leveling baseless allegations against him that he made “huge” money over the years. “I did not make any money. Whatever property I have is inherent or purchased from that property. Had I been their man (associated with BJP), I would have been like Anil Ambani. Where did the BJP get Rs 8,000 crore which they spent on newly constructed office in Delhi? Why don’t they talk about Rafale deal,” he said, while demanding that commission shall be set up to investigate who made money over the years.

He said that BJP has failed to win the hearts of people. “Prime Minister had said that Centre sanctioned Rs 80,000 crore to JK but Mehbooba Mufti told in assembly that state received only Rs 10,000 crore.”

He claimed that BJP was promising return of Kashmir Pandits to the Valley for votes. “What did BJP do for Pandits in the last five years? What happened to 10 crore jobs in 10 years,” he asked.

Apparently referring to a separatist turned mainstream, Farooq said, “Those who ate Pakistan s**t over the years have now joined hands with the BJP. One leader from Kashmir is contesting polls for the money. These people, who deceived the nation, will face punishment in this world.”

In a sarcastic tone, he said, “I am still young. I won’t die till I see the funerals of these people (senior BJP leaders.”

Party’s senior leaders Ali Mohammad Sagar, Mustafa Kamal were also present on the occasion. However, less than 300 NC supporters had turned up to participate in the rally. 


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Home Minister Amit Shah reviews situation in J&K

Press Trust of India

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

During the two-hour long meeting, also attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba among others, the home minister was given a detailed presentation on the prevailing security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly along the International Border and the Line of Control.

The home minister took stock of the situation and was briefed about the steps taken to maintain peace along border areas as well as in the Valley, a security official said.

Lieutenant General K J S Dhillon, General Officer Commanding, 15 Corps, which looks after the Kashmir Valley, had recently said there have been infiltration attempts from across the border.

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SC allows Azad to visit J&K

Agencies

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The Supreme Court of India on September 16 allowed senior Indian National Congress leader and former Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to visit his home state.

The apex court allowed Azad to visit Srinagar, Baramulla, Anantnag and Jammu.

However, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi said Azad will not be allowed to “make any speeches or hold any public rally as per his own submissions”.

Azad had moved SC seeking permission to visit his home state to enquire about the well-being of his family.

Azad’s petition was taken up by a bench of CJI Gogoi, and Justices SA Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer on September 16.

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There are formidable reasons, says SC on J&K curbs

Agencies

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The Supreme Court asked the government to take all steps to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir but stressed there were “formidable reasons” for the restrictions imposed by the government.

A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi which took up a bunch of petitions on the scrapped special status for the state and its impact, also accepted a request from Ghulam Nabi Azad to travel to four districts to reach out to people and ascertain their problems.

Chief Justice Gogoi also responded to a complaint that people weren’t able to approach the high court, offered to ascertain the situation and if need be, even travel to the state.

Justice SA Bobde, one of the three judges on the bench, responded to the Attorney General’s outline of the situation in Kashmir: “These are formidable reasons. A terrible state of affairs”.

“We trust you will endeavour to establish the situation in Kashmir,” the judge told the Centre, asking the government to file an affidavit within two weeks.

Venugopal rejected the contention by journalist Anuradha Bhasin about curbs on media in Kashmir, asserting that all newspapers were being published without any impediment.

At one point when the judges asked a petitioner why he didn’t approach the high court, the bench was told that the complete shutdown prevented people from reaching the court. Chief Justice Gogoi took serious note of the argument and said he would speak with the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Justice to ascertain the facts and if necessary, travel to the state.

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