Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Monday that the atmosphere in Jammu and Kashmir is one of fear, and the economy of the state has suffered after the Centre revoked its special status under Article 370 of the Constitution of India on August 5.
Briefing of Ghulam Nabi Azad’s press conference:
As I have said in the beginning that since 5th August, after the new legislations were brought with regard to Jammu and Kashmir, almost 3 or 4 of them together in a most undemocratic and unparliamentary way, never seen before, without the knowledge of the business advisory committee, without giving any prior notice, without circulating the bills in the Parliament, we just unheard so far in the parliamentary democracy. I tried to visit my state Jammu and Kashmir on three occasions. I went twice to Kashmir, I made an attempt to visit Kashmir twice and once to Jammu. On all the three occasions, I was returned from the Airports, then ultimately I had to move to Hon’ble Supreme Court. I must thank Hon’ble Supreme Court, on my behalf and on behalf of people of Jammu and Kashmir. Because, it is the Supreme Court that made my visit possible to Jammu and Kashmir.
Well, before approaching Hon’ble Supreme Court, I was told that large section, a considerable portion of the population, which consist of manual labourers, daily workers, shikara walas, labourers working in handicraft industry, Rehari walas, footpath vendors, taxi drivers, labourers working in bricklins and stone quarries, ponny walas, labourers working in Orchids, tea sellers, labourers working in shops and tea stalls and hotels. I was told that their conditions were very pathetic. It is very difficult for them to survive, because their total livelihood depends on daily wages, daily working and since then the entire state is, particularly the Kashmir almost under seize. Nothing is working there; everything is stand still there and these labour classes.
As I have said number of occasions, if you put their family members together, they are almost half of the population of the Kashmir valley and also good number in Jammu valley. And my apprehension proved true that huge number of daily wagers, they have nothing to eat. For some times they were being fed by the neighbourers, but is very difficult for the neighbourers to feed huge number of population for weeks together, months together. So, this situation is alarming. There has been arbitrary and unjustified arrest and detention of the entire mainstream political leadership rendering the entire Jammu and Kashmir mute, terrified, voiceless and vulnerable. The detainess include people, who stood for India against all odds, they sacrificed and suffered for the national interest, those leaders belong to Congress, National Conference, PDP and other mainstream political parties are behind the bars or have been kept under house arrest.
Indiscriminate arrest of children and minors has horrified the young generation as a result of if they refuse to come out of their houses, media is working obviously under pressure, few dailies publish only what the Government wants them to publish, public has no representation, whatsoever. This may be the first time that the Government instead of being protector of the life and property of the people, the people are scared of the Government itself. The troubles and starvations of the poor labourers remains unpublished, alienation of the people is of highest order. The people are very much disappointed and disillusioned and so am I.