Bar Tells Sinha-led Team: GoI ‘Passive Collaborator’ Against Article 35A

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Srinagar: Government of India’s decision not to reply to a petition before Supreme Court, seeking striking down of Article 35A of Indian constitution, shows it is “passive collaborator”, Kashmir High Court Bar Association told a visiting delegation from New Delhi headed by former Indian eternal affairs minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Saturday.

“They were also told that in the petition filed against Article 35-A, the government of India has not chosen to file its reply, which amply shows that the government is passive collaborator of those, who have approached the Supreme Court for striking down Article 35-A of the constitution of India, which has been there from 1954,” a spokesman of the lawyers’ body said after the visiting team’s meeting with its members of executicve committee at High Court Bar Complex Srinagar.

The delegation, presently on ‘Peace Mission 3.0’ to Kashmir Valley, comprises Executive Director, Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation (CDR), Sushobha Barve, Air Vice Marshal (Retd), Kapil Kak and senior journalist Bharat Bhushan.

“The issues which are political in nature, are now being raised before the Supreme Court and every now or then, petitions are being filed by BJP or RSS backed groups to strike down Article 35-A, Article 370 of the Constitution of India or the Constitutional Application Order of 1954,” the Bar told the delegation.

The members of the delegation were also told that the only way to resolve the Kashmir issue, in a peaceful manner, was either to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolutions or else to hold sincere, unconditional and result oriented dialogue with all stakeholders including Pakistan, the spokesman said, adding that unless it is so done, there would be no peace in the sub-continent.

The delegation was also told that instead of addressing the real issue, the movement of India has unleashed a “reign of terror in the State to subjugate the people, who are not even being allowed now to hold a peaceful protest.”

“They were also told that Army and Paramilitary forces have been tasked to kill, blind and maim innocent Kashmiris while other agencies including NIA have been assigned the job of intimidating and harassing the people by raiding their houses.”

The lawyers’ body also recalled that Government of India, after obtaining the full court approval from the J&K High Court, designated TADA and POTA courts at Srinagar and Jammu as NIA Courts. but “Instead of producing the accused persons who are arrested by the NIA in Kashmir, before the courts at Srinagar or Jammu, they are taking them to Delhi and producing before an NIA Court over there, the sole purpose of which is to torture, harass and humiliate the accused persons and subject them as well as their families to untold sufferings and miseries.”

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