Jammu, Nov 23: Hundreds of Congress activists led by senior party leaders on Saturday took out a march here to press for the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and lodge their protest against the economic slowdown in the country.
The protest march, first of its kind in the city post abrogation of Article 370 provisions and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two Union Territories in early August, started from the Congress headquarters at Shaheedi Chowk here and culminated with the submission of a memorandum addressed to President Ram Nath Kovind at deputy commissioner’s office.
“This march is part of the nationwide protests organised by the All India Congress Committee against the failure of the BJP-led government to pull the country out of the economic crisis and highlight the plight of farmers, the condition of the youth, growing unemployment and price hike of essential commodities,” Jammu and Kashmir Congress president G A Mir told reporters before the march.
Mir, who led the protest along with senior party colleagues, said, “We have sought permission to submit the memorandum to Lt Governor (G C Murmu) but as you are aware about the situation of democracy in Jammu and Kashmir, we were not allowed and therefore we are handing this memorandum to the deputy commissioner, Jammu, for the President.
“The memorandum highlights the murder of democracy and desecration of the Constitution, economic crisis, plight of farmers, business community and transporters, joblessness and continuous price hike of essential commodities,” he said.
Seeking the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, Mir said the congressmen are on the roads to convey the voice of the people to the President as the “undemocratic and unconstitutional” steps taken by the Centre left them “deeply hurt”.
“People are scared to open their voice for their rights. This is the situation which has been thrust on them after this beautiful state was dismantled,” he said amid chants in support of the restoration of statehood.
The protesters, who were carrying placards and banners, marched in a procession towards the office of the deputy commissioner and later dispersed off peacefully.
Some of the women participants were seen wearing garlands made of vegetables like onions, lemons and cauliflower to protest the price hike of essential commodities.