Kashmir: CPI(M) targets Modi govt again

CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury addresses a press conference. (PTI Photo)

The Supreme Court's refusal to "intervene to stop the large-scale violations" of civil liberties and fundamental rights of citizens in Jammu and Kashmir was an example of the "undermining" of institutions under the Narendra Modi government, the CPM has said.

In an editorial in the party mouthpiece 'Peoples Democracy', it said in such a situation, the defence of democracy, secularism and fundamental rights of citizens have to be accomplished more and more by popular mobilisations and united people’s movements.

"On Independence Day, it is also pertinent to observe that the past five years of authoritarian rule have led to the undermining of all institutions under the constitution. A small instance of this was brought out by the fact that a three-member bench of the Supreme Court refused to intervene to stop the large scale violations of civil liberties and fundamental rights of citizens in Jammu and Kashmir," the CPM said.

The remarks came against the backdrop of the Supreme Court refusing to interfere with the Centre's decision to impose restrictions, including the shutdown of communication services, after scrapping the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating it into two union territories. On Tuesday, the apex court also said the Centre should be given "reasonable time" to bring normalcy in the state, which cannot be done "overnight" in view of the sensitive situation.

"When Narendra Modi hoists the tricolour on the Red Fort on August 15, millions of Kashmiris would have been deprived of their liberties and fundamental rights for the eleventh day running. They have been stripped off of their right to movement, to communicate, to earn a livelihood, to go to school, to avail healthcare and medicines – all fundamental rights as citizens in free India," it said.

It said the delimitation exercise will ensure that the number of seats in Jammu region will go up from the existing 37. With the carving out of SC/ST reserved seats, the result will be to reduce the number of seats in Kashmir valley, which at present is 46, so that the BJP can be assured of a majority in Assembly, the party claimed. 

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