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Annulling Art 370 will pave way for ‘Azaadi’: Farooq

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Apr 8: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah Monday said that abrogation of Article 370 would pave way for “Azaadi” of Kashmiris.

Addressing an election rally at Munawarabad area of old city here, Farooq said that abrogation of Article 370 was for the first time in the manifesto of the BJP.

“The nation is under threat. Do you think we will remain quiet if there is any attack on our special identity? We will fight for it,” he said.

 

At the same time, Farooq said that he was “praying to Allah that Article 370 is abrogated so we get the Azaadi” from India.

“The BJP wants to bury our identity. We won’t surrender to become slaves. Prime Minister Narendra Modi can’t win hearts of Kashmiris by force and guns. No one will hold your (Indian) flag if Article 370 is abrogated,” he said.

The BJP on Monday released its manifesto for the parliamentary polls. In the manifesto, the party 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 leaders were spreading hatred against Kashmiris. “Even a BJP Governor called for boycott to Kashmiris then how do you expect that we will become part of India. Nobody can change the demography of the state,” the former chief minister said. National Conference General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, and party’s senior leaders Mustafa Kamal and Shamima Firdous were also present on the occasion.

The National Conference leader also criticised the government for ban on civilian traffic on the national highway. “You closed roads for 47 security forces vehicles. We have to seek now permission whether to walk on the road or not,” he said.

The former chief minister also slammed for summoning of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to New Delhi by the NIA. “Why can’t you question him here,” he asked. 

He asked Prime Minister to treat people of all religions, regions equally. “I have never seen a PM like Narendra Modi ever in my life. Before polls, you promised 2 crore jobs each year. What happened to 10 crore jobs,” he added.


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Lead Stories

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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