NCHRO Resolution Condemning the Repeal of Article 370
Aug 08, 2019
The National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations strongly condemns the removal of the statehood of Kashmir and its bifurcation by abrogating article 370 of our constitution. The whole Kashmir valley is now under curfew and the political party leaders including two former chief ministers are kept in custody. The Amarnath Yatra was cancelled, pilgrims sent back and all the student hostels in the valley are closed. About ninety thousand soldiers are now kept in alert in the valley. The Awami Ittehad Party leader Engineer Shaik Abdul Rasheed had been summoned to Delhi by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for questioning and this is condemned by all as a deliberate attempt to intimidate the mainstream leadership in the valley. It looks like as if the Indian government has declared a war against the people of the Kashmir valley.
Yesterday the BJP government had completed the process of scrapping Article 370 and bifurcating the Jammu Kashmir state into two union territories through a parliamentary approval. Meanwhile Pakistan had announced that it will downgrade the diplomatic relations with New Delhi , expelled Indian high commissioner and suspended all bilateral trade. Prime Minister Imran Khan had also chaired a meeting of the National Security Committee of his country. A war like situation has developed in the subcontinent.
The accession of Jammu Kashmir with India after independence is entirely different from the accessions of other princely states. The Instrument of Accession signed between the Dogra King Harisingh and the Government of India clearly says that the accession is purely a temporary affair and whether Jammu Kashmir will continue as a state in the Union of India or go alone will be decided after a referendum is conducted on this among the people of Jammu and Kashmir. On this basis India has also declared in UN on Dec 31, 1947 that it will conduct a referendum and decide the future of Kashmir. Regarding this two resolutions also passed in UN one on Aug 13, 1948 and another on Jan 5, 1949.
As promised in the Instrument of Accession, Article 370 has been inserted in our constitution and the state of Jammu and Kashmir was given a special status to have a separate constitution, a flag, and autonomy over all matters except for foreign affairs and defense. An additional provision, Article 35a, prevented people from outside the state buying land in the territory.
The Supreme Court of India has also held and clarified in a judgment (SBI vs Santosh Gupta, 2017) that the Article 370 has become permanent unless another Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir was constituted.
Despite all these promises, constitutional mandate and Supreme Court judgment the present government has violated all these and had passed the “Reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir Bill” and repealed Article 370 by a President’s resolution.
NCHRO condemns the way in which the present government had made a constitutional promise null and void. We urge the present government to accept and recognize the special status promised to Kashmir and roll back the Jammu Kashmir Reorganisation Bill (2019) immediately. Release immediately all those leaders arrested in the past one week. Withdraw the extra army forces added in the recent past and allow the devotees to go and worship Amarnath temple.