DMK, Opposition leaders protest at Jantar Mantar demanding release of Jammu and Kashmir leaders

New Delhi, Aug 22 : Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and several other Opposition leaders are staging demonstration at the Jantar mantar in the national capital on Thursday demanding the “release of political leaders detained in Jammu and Kashmir including former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah,Omar ABdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.

The leaders raised slogans demanding the restoration of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, resumption of telecom services in the Valley and the immediate release of all political leaders who have been detained.

Since the revocation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir provided under Article 370, several mainstream political leaders have been detained. Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abullah and Farooq Abdullah have been under house arrest.

Congress leaders Karti Chidambaram and Ghulam Nabi Azad, RJD leader Manoj Jha, and others also present.

The people of Jammu and Kashmir are staying inside houses and the central government says they are happy , if they are happy then people should celebrate . the children are not attending schools,”
Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

Questioning the development claims by the Modi government, Congress leader Azad said, ” If the law has been removed for the development why aren’t the people celebrating

Communist Party of India Marxist (CPIM) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that central government is trying to convert Kashmir into India’s Palestine by removing article 370.

Yechury said all secular democratic parties in the country are demanding release of political prisoners in Jammu and Kashmir.

“This (August 22 protest) will only be a beginning because we cannot allow J&K to be converted into India’s Palestine. We cannot allow the same sort of treatment that Israelis are doing with people of Palestine in our own country… people’s fundamental rights are being violated.”

The former Rajya Sabha member alleged that disinformation and wrong propaganda are being carried out on the pretext on removing special status for J&K.

“Apart from article 370, there are 10 other articles dealing with special status to different states of India. Most of the north eastern states, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Gujarat have certain special statuses,” Yechury said adding it is not correct to say that J&K is the only state with special status.

Yechury alleged that the special status was taken away from Jammu and Kashmir as it was the only Muslim-majority state in India.

“It is not a question of special status of J&k being taken away as it is the only state in India with similar case. J&K was targeted because it was the only Muslim-majority state in India. Their communal agenda was the principal motivation behind this and that is why they have assaulted the principles of secularism , democracy and federalism contained in our constitution ,” he said.

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