Mainstream Parties Oppose Amendment In PSA Act  

It will reopen question of J&K’s accession to Union of India, Says NC

SRINAGAR — Most of the mainstream parties in Jammu and Kashmir including National Conference and PDP on Tuesday expressed strong resentment against the decision of the State Administrative Council (SAC) to delete a provision in the Public Safety Act (PSA) that barred authorities from lodging J&K residents in jails outside the State.

NC General Secretary Haji Ali Muhammad Sagar said the decision would send incarcerated under-trials away from their families and would further add to the sense of isolation when all efforts should be made to build bridges of reconciliation with the people.

 “This is an unfortunate and unacceptable decision that National Conference opposes unequivocally and unambiguously. We appeal to the Honourable Governor to reconsider this decision of the SAC. The previous Omar Abdullah led government in 2011 made specific amendments to the Public Safety Act (PSA) which redefined the age and scope of the Act’s jurisdiction viz-a-viz minors, reduced the period of incarceration from one year to three months and also reduced the incarceration period in cases related to the State’s security and law and order from two years to six months. The J&K Public Safety Ordinance 2011 maintained that no resident of J&K detained under the PSA could be shifted to a jail outside the State”, he said.

Sagar said the SAC should repeal the decision and restore the provision in the Act at the earliest possible instance.  

Addressing the meeting NC Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani said that the Central Government and the powers that be should realise that abrogation and repeal of Article 370 and Article 35-A of the Constitution  of India would re-open the question of the State’s accession to the Union of India and invalidate the constitutional bridge that connects the State to the rest of the country.

 “After Maharaja Hari Singh’s conditional accession to the Union of India, the representatives of J&K and the central leadership of the country negotiated the terms and conditions of the State’s accession and also defined the scope and nature of its relationship with the Centre. These negotiations resulted in constitutional safeguards in Constitution of India through the Constituent Assembly of the Union – as also validated by the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir. The 1952 Delhi Agreement – which is a sovereign agreement – defines the scope and nature of Centre-State relations with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Any attempts to violate these sovereign promises and agreements by assaulting the constitutional safeguards will invalidate the State’s accession to the Union”, the NC Provincial President said.

Launching a scathing attack on the Peoples’ Democratic Party, the NC Provincial President said PDP misled and betrayed the people of the State for their own personal political benefits. “Every single promise that was made by Late Mufti Sahab and then Mehbooba Mufti stands broken without any remorse. While today – after being sacked by her allies – Mehbooba Mufti terms power as a ‘cup of poison’ – she not only enjoyed this ‘cup of poison’ but also ensured that illegal and illegitimate benefits are also reaped by her kith and kin. It was under Mehbooba Mufti’s rule that J&K’s fiscal autonomy was eroded through the extension of the GST Act and various other central acts and provisions. The people of the State will never forgive PDP for acting as a Trojan Horse to weaken the State’s special status”, the NC Provincial President added.

Peoples Democratic Party Spokesperson Rafi Ahmed Mir said that it is a not a pro-people move and the decision taken in State Administrative Council is against the policy of his party.

 “Whosoever is being detained under PSA should be lodged in State Jails so that their family members could meet them easily,” Mir said adding asked the Governor Administration to reconsider his decision.

CPI(M) senior leader Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami told CNS that the decision taken by Governor Administration is highly condemnable, unfortunate and unacceptable. “From day one, I have been advocating withdrawal of this draconian law and in fact I had moved an amendment bill seeking the annulment of harsh provisions of Public Safety Act. Such a law is not required in Jammu and Kashmir as it is anti-people and anti-humanity,” he said and added that cutting across party line, mainstream politicians and civil society members should raise their voice against the this decision.

Legislator and Chairman Peoples Democratic Front Hakim Muhammad Yain described the move as the direct attack on State autonomy. “How can State Administrative Council (SAC) delete the provision when there is no elected government in place? The SAC decision is a total violation and a move to add to the sufferings of people of Kashmir,” he told CNS.

Hakim Yasin appealed Governor NN Vohra to reconsider this decision.

Senior Congress leader Muhammad Sultan Mandoo said that the move is aimed at to harass families of Kashmir. “India and its BJP backed agencies in Kashmir are trying to send a message to youth that they can’t take on State. It will be extremely difficult for the families whose loved ones will be shifted to outside jails under Public Safety Act to pursue the cases and deal with the situation. It is a bizarre that State Home Department instead of giving respite to the people are adding to their woes,” Mandoo said.


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