Jammu & Kashmir

Kashmiris, Dogras, Sikhs, losing identity: Farooq Abdullah after All Party meeting

Members of People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, a political alliance between the several regional political parties in JK fighting for autonomy for the region by restoring special status along with Article 35A of the erstwhile state. [File Photo]

Srinagar: National Conference chief Dr Farooq Abdullah on Monday said that politicians who participated in the All Party Meet( APM) at his Gupkar residence unanimously decided to oppose the recent announcement of the Election Commission about giving voting rights to non-JK residents.

Senior Abdullah said the decision of voting rights to outsiders was “totally unacceptable and if needed, we can approach the court to oppose the move.”

Addressing the reporters, after APM, Dr Farooq said that he had convened the meeting to discuss the fall-out of the recent announcement of EC about giving voting rights to non-JK residents including labourers and armed forces personnel.

“The parties who participated in the meeting include NC, Congress, PDP, Awami National Conference (ANC), Shiv Sena, CPI(M), JDU, and Akali Dal,” he said.

He said that at present the number of non-JK residents who have been given voting rights is 25 lakh. “Tomorrow the number may go up to 50 lakh or 1 Crore. JK’s identity is facing a direct assault as Dogra’s, Kashmiris, Sikhs, and other communities are losing their identity,” said Dr Farooq, who was flanked by PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami, ANC leader Muzaffar Shah and newly elected J&K Congress president Vikar Rasool besides others.

The NC chief said that the fall-out of voting rights to non-JK residents will be that tomorrow “Assembly will be in the hands of outsiders.”

Dr Farooq said that five days ago, he rang LG Manoj Sinha and requested him to convene an APM like one held on the issue of Amarnath Yatra. “I had requested LG to invite all parties, but there was no outcome,” he said, adding that last time, LG had stated that “he will be inviting JK leaders frequently, but he failed to keep the word.”

Asked about future strategy, he said that today APM explored all options and if needed, “we can approach the court as well to oppose the EC’s decision of giving voting rights to non-JK residents.”

“I wonder why JK was chosen for this. There must be some motive,” he said. He said that in the month of September, he will invite leaders of national parties to Srinagar or Jammu, and brief them about the prevailing situation in J&K and the fresh moves of GoI to change the identity of people belonging to various communities in JK. Pertinently, Apni Party and Peoples Conference stayed away from APM.

Dr Farooq also condemned the recent killings of Kashmiri Pandits, Muslims, policemen, and armed forces personnel.


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