NEW DELHI – CPI(M) senior leader from Kashmir Yousuf Tarigami on Wednesday took a dig at the Centre, asking it to notify Jammu and Kashmir as a “central jail” so that it no longer has to enforce draconian laws like the Public Safety Act on its citizens.
“The government should notify Jammu and Kashmir as a central jail. Then they do not have to invoke the PSA or force us to stay inside our homes,” Tarigami said.
Addressing a press conference at the party office here, Tarigami attacked the Centre over the continued restrictions in the valley and said the delegations which are being taken to Jammu and Kashmir can see that even the guesthouses have been turned into “detention centres”.
Likening Jammu and Kashmir to Tihar jail, he and his party colleague, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said in unison, “Jammu and Kashmir cannot have a Shaheen Bagh for similar reasons as there cannot be a Shaheen Bagh in Tihar jail”.
Shaheen Bagh in Delhi has become the epicentre of the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act as women with young children have been staging a sit-in protest there for nearly two months.
“The government will repent what it did to J-K. I am also saying that all those people who clapped at the insult of Kashmir on August 5, where the entire community of Kashmir was humiliated, will repent it. The government has to take accountability of what happened. Hope it is not too late,” Tarigami said.
He also questioned why the central government did not hold elections in the state legislature and allow the people to decide their representatives.
Tarigami also hit out at the government over the invoking of the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) on former J-K chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, and questioned how “getting support of people was a crime”, referring to the dossier on them.
The PSA was invoked against Abdullah due to his “considerable influence” and ability to draw voters to polling booths, said the government dossier that contained charges against the politician. Apart from him, Mehbooba Mufti and several other Kashmiri political leaders were charged under the Act last week.
Referring to the dossier which cites green colour of Mufti’s party flag as one of the reasons for slapping PSA on her, Tarigami quipped that if the colour was the problem, then one-third of the Indian flag was also the same colour.
“If green colour is a problem, then how does one qualify the tricolour which has one-third green. Will that be removed?” he said.
Tarigami also said that he was receiving delegations from Jammu and Ladhak regions from people who were concerned about their rights that they enjoyed in the past and under Article 35 A.
“Till the time the Supreme Court does not decide on the petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A, the Jammu and Kashmir administration should not take decisions like giving government land to individuals and trusts from different states. Such decisions cannot be legally sustainable,” he added.