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August 5 a day of betrayals, will be observed as a Black Day until Special Status of J&K is restored

Srinagar, August 5: Amid crippling restrictions across Jammu & Kashmir and detention spree of its leaders and activists, The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) observed August 5, 2020 as “Black Day”.

“Today the party reiterates that August 5 is and will continue to be a Black Day as a reminder of the constitutional fraud perpetrated on the people of J&K and that of how this fraud was imposed with the might of incarcerations and under the dark shadow of suspension of civil liberties. A day that is now etched in history and collective memory of us all as a proverbial daylight robbery on the rights and liberties of the people of Jammu & Kashmir when promises made to the people of J&K enshrined in the constitution of India were bulldozed to realize the fascist agenda of one party”, party spokesman Syed Suhail Bukhari said in a statement issued here today.

Bringing to fore the shock and impact these unconstitutional measures have had on polity, economics, society and peace in J&K, party spokesperson said that the State was dismembered, downgraded, humiliated and stripped of its dignity. This has not just devastated the foundations of the trust people of J&K had put in the Constitution of India but also pulverized the fledgling mainstream. Exactly a year after, the spokesperson said, J&K continues to be in a social, economic, political and communication lockdown. None of the stated goals of the government, that were used to camouflage the betrayal  – of bringing Kashmir closer to India, ending militancy, bringing development to the state – have been achieved. Instead, the Kashmiris have lost any faith they had in the Indian political leadership and the judiciary. The Supreme Court has still not found time to take up the petitions challenging the legal and constitutional validity of the J&K Reorganization Act. While many political, business leaders and lawyers have been released in the recent past, many continue to be in detention, the most prominent among them being former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, he added.

On the “Black Day”, the party condemned the continued atrocities on the people of Jammu and Kashmir by the BJP regime even after one year of their promised utopia, even as its President Ms. Mehbooba Mufti completes one year in detention and all the top leaders under house arrest.

The spokesperson said that hundreds of party workers had been rounded up on the black day being observed by the party to protest the humiliating unconstitutional assault on state’s dignity, identity, culture and economy. While the government had imposed curfew all over the valley and many areas in Jammu it has also illegally arrested frontline leaders of the party in overnight raids. The party condemned the arrest of Firdous Tak, Sheikh Naseer, Umar Malik and Abdul Rauf Bhat and demanded their immediate release.

That after a year government still has to impose curfews on the anniversary of ‘Black Day’ to shove down its throats the illegal decision highlights the resilience of the people and the illogic and failure of the August move.”The umbilical cord of the August 5 move has been tied with chains of steel to the destruction of our tourism sector, businesses, education sector and the sad and dark chapter of injustice and incarcerations. Today calls for a unbiased and holistic analysis of gains and losses this move has incurred,” the spokesperson said.

“In spite of arrests and complete curfew in Srinagar some workers succeeded in reaching the party office but found it sealed by security forces. The fact that the government has to arrest all Kashmiris in their homes while it tries to carry out comic ‘celebration’ in presence of parachuted Godi media is an eloquent commentary on its failed Kashmir project, “ he said.

Party General Secretary and former legislator Surinder Choudhary along with other protested in Jammu observing the Black Day while as PDP youth wing provincial Secretary Arif Laigaroo alongwith other party activists gathered in Srinagar to register the protest.

The spokesperson said the unilateral move taken by the government of India to settle the contours of the issue without consultation of stakeholders is akin to chasing a mirage. He added that the road to peace and progress of South Asia runs through Kashmir.

“By focusing on changing the demography of Kashmir the real agenda of GOI has become all the more evident. They need to rethink its policy and follow the time-honored mechanism of dialogue and engagement with all stakeholders. It is time that the people of State are treated with respect, rather than suspicion and hostility and the project to outnumber them in their own habitat through demographic change is stopped forthwith,” the spokesperson added.