Intolerance at its peak in J&K, ‘escalating level’ of violence alarming: NC
HT NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, March 9: Intolerance is at its peak in Jammu and Kashmir and this is not how pluralistic democracies work, the National Conference claimed on Wednesday.
At a meeting of its central working committee (CWC) – the highest decision-making body of the NC — at the party headquarters Nawa-e-Subha here, the NC asserted that “escalating level” of violence in the Union Territory was “alarming” and “contrary” to the claims of peace.
The meeting was presided over by party president Farooq Abdullah while vice president Omar Abdullah and general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar also attended the meeting, the NC said in a statement.
During the course of the meeting, the individual members gave their estimation of the prevailing situation with regards to the “deteriorating” security situation, “development deficit” and the “rising tide of intolerance” against contrarian views in Jammu and Kashmir and their respective areas, in particular, the statement said.
The CWC unanimously resolved that intolerance in Jammu and Kashmir “is at its peak”, saying this is not how pluralistic democracies work.
“The clampdown in the case of working journalists and media personalities is more insidious. CWC unanimously condemned the muzzling of the press and called upon the government to release all incarcerated journalists,” the NC said.
The party said the trend of rolling out criminal charges and intimidation against journalists is highly deplorable.
Asking the Centre to refrain from “using state apparatus” for “arm twisting and intimidating” journalists, the CWC members said there is “complete intolerance” towards even a single critical word.
“The members demanded revocation of all charges against journalists and also sought immediate release of those who are undergoing confinement. The members also expressed deep concern over the environment of political intolerance,” the party said.
The CWC reiterated that it will fight using all peaceful, legal and democratic means to reverse the changes of August 5, 2019.
The Centre had revoked the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and split it into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019.
“They (CWC members) maintained that there can be no trade-off between the political aspirations and development needs of people and that both should go hand in hand,” it said.
The party also sought to remind Prime Minister Narendra Modi about his much-touted statement about removing ”Dil ki doori and Dilli ki doori” (distance between hearts and the distance with Delhi) at the all-party meet in New Delhi in June last year, saying “nothing much has been done towards achieving that end”.
“Neither were the hearts connected nor was the distance between J&K and Delhi bridged. CWC regrets that the meeting did not translate into any concrete steps and follow up by GoI (government of India),” the party said.
The CWC also condemned the blasts in Srinagar and Udhampur and expressed sympathies with the victim families, whose loved ones were killed in the incidents.
“They noted that the escalating levels of violence in J&K is alarming and is contrary to the claims of the government on the return of peace to the region,” the party said.
Condemning the violence, the CWC members said there is no place for violence in emancipated societies.
The party also condemned the “failure” of the administration to reach out to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The CWC maintained that nothing has changed on the ground. The much-touted promises on employment generation, development and investment have proved hollow,” the statement said.