For Profiling Kashmiris, Delhi Enacting Central Act Illegally: KCSDS

SRINAGAR: Days after New Delhi proposed to amend a seven-year old Act to enable the Centre to collect statistical data in Jammu and Kashmir for removing a “legislative vacuum” with regard to data collection in the state, Kashmir Center for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) Friday alleged that under a well-planned conspiracy

attempts are being made by various quarters to alter and erode the special status  of Jammu and Kashmir, the latest of which is Central Statistics Act 2008 that is being extended to J&K State ‘illegally’.

Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, Kashmir Center for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) said that it is terribly disturbed by the-multi-pronged onslaughts on the special status of J&K by the communal and divisive forces from New-Delhi and Jammu region. They added that these attacks come in the form of new discourses and narratives aimed at taking away whatever is left in Valley and the on- going process of disempowering the Kashmiris and destroying their majority status and thus the demography of the state.

KCSDS members including Professor Hameeda Naeem, Shakeel Qalandar and Abdul Majeed Zargar said that the latest discourse that has been floated is the settlement of retired army personnel in J&K State by allotting them land and bestowing other economic benefits as ‘a reward for serving Kashmiris for the past 25 years.

“The centre has amended the law in such a way that it doesn’t need to be rectification from state legislature to make it applicable to state of J&K. This is a big conspiracy. If law is made applicable to our state, we would not be able to ask the information about the retired army officials who would be settled in border areas of our state,” they said.

Hamida expressed concern over the proposed amendment in Central Statistics Act 2008 to bring within its ambit the J&K State.  The central government’s proposal to cover J&K under Statistics Act of India has evoked a sharp criticism with political parties cutting across ideologies, saying any such move will erode the special status granted to the state under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

Another move that we view with grave concern is (he reported proposal of New- Delhi to amend Central Statistics Act 2008 to bring within its ambit the J&K State.

“The union government has proposed to amend a seven-year old Act to enable the Centre to collect statistical data in J&K. At present, the existing Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, does not apply to Jammu and Kashmir. The state has its own Jammu and Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010,” she added, demanding that people and concerned authorities should oppose any such law by tooth and nail.  She recalled that when the dynamics of the present coalition Government were being worked out, the people of the State were assured that all contentious issues on the IMP agenda will be set aside and the new Government’s sole objective would be to provide good governance, usher in growth and sustainable development and provide immediate succor and relief to flood victims of the State and above all to initiate a dialogue for the resolution of Kashmir issue.

“But instead of restoring people’s rights, working to bring about peace, every move is made to take away whatever is left with us. Deplorably since the day the present coalition Government has assumed office, the communal, fascist and divisive forces have become bolder and louder and have launched a multi-pronged assault on the existing constitutional positions of the state to change its demographic character and diminish the majority status of Muslims in the state,” said Hameeda.

She added that some of the ‘illegal’ and ‘unconstitutional’ actions demanded by communal forces on which the government has not made its position clear is intriguing and exasperating. She said that these actions include: issue of permanent resident certificates in schools in Jammu against prescribed rules and procedure, construction of exclusive townships for pundits, settlement of West Pakistan Refugees, challenging of Article 35-A of constitution, harassment and eviction of Jammu Muslims, appointment and posting of communal officers in Jammu, raising voices for settlement of retired army personal and amendment of Central statistics Act 2008 to include within its ambit the State of J&K in-spite of the fact that this State has its own law on the subject know n as J&K State Statistics Act 2010.

She said that the civil society of Kashmir across board notes with a sense of great anguish the total surrender of PDP before such communal and fascist forces. “Its ‘stoic silence’ on these issues lends credence to the belief that it is a willing partner in all the obnoxious and nefarious designs advanced and propagated by these forces. It warns these forces and the powers that be particularly the government to desist from playing with fire as the consequences that will flow from there will be huge and unimaginable,” she added.

She said that the civil society makes it imperative for all the political parties in the state to make their position clear on these issues and put a united fight to protect and preserve the identity and demography of the state. (CNS)

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