US lawmakers resolution calls on India to lift communication restrictions, free detaines in Jammu and Kashmir

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Washington, Dec 8: Indian-American Democrat lawmaker Pramila Jayapal introduced a bipartisan resolution calling on India to lift restrictions in Kashmir and free detainees in Jammu and Kashmir.

Resolution number 745, tabled in the US House of Representatives on December 6, urged the Government of India to release the political political and business detainees and end communication restrictions that were imposed in Jammu and Kashmir following the Indian government’s decision to dilute Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.

The bill urges the Indian government to ensure that any actions taken in pursuit of legitimate security priorities respect the human rights of all people and adhere to international human rights law.

The resolution which is yet to sail through the floor test of the House read, “…Urges the Government of India to lift the remaining restrictions on communication and to restore internet access across all of Jammu and Kashmir as swiftly as possible; swiftly release arbitrarily detained people in Jammu and Kashmir; refrain from conditioning the release of detained people on their willingness to sign bonds prohibiting any political activities and speeches; allow international human rights observers and journalists to access Jammu and Kashmir and operate freely throughout India, without threats, and condemn, at the highest levels, all religiously motivated violence, including that violence which targets against religious minorities.”

The draft resolution has been referred to the House foreign affairs committee for examination. The committee will scrutinise the resolution and may amend the text if required. Then it will be put to vote in the house.

This is the second resolution in the national legislature of the US on Kashmir. Another democrat and US representative, Rashida Talib, on November 22 introduced a resolution that criticised the actions of the Indian government in Jammu and Kashmir.

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