March 2019 News

Trade Bodies Call Kashmir Bandh To Protest Jamaat Ban, Attack On JK's Special Status

4 March 2019
Rising Kashmir
Sabreen Ashraf

Srinagar: To protest against the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami, trade bodies in Kashmir called for a complete shutdown on Tuesday. Addressing a news conference here Monday, Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) called for Kashmir bandh against the ongoing attacks on Jammu Kashmir's special status and Jamaat-e-Islami ban. KEA Chairman Muhammad Yasin Khan, who also heads the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF), addressing a joint press conference with the Federation Chamber Industries Kashmir (FCIK) President Muhammad Ashraf Mir, and Shabir Ahmad, Abdul Majeed, and Muhammad Yousuf of All Transport Welfare Association said New Delhi was pushing the people of Kashmir to the wall. 'From the ban of Jamaat-e-Islam to the ongoing and collective attempts by the Raj Bhawan and New Delhi to erode the special status of Jammu Kashmir by tinkering with Articles 370 and Article 35-A, all sinister efforts are being made to create an unrest in Kashmir,' Khan said. He said the ban on Jamaat had affected Kashmir's socio-humanitarian services. 'While the Jamaat's first victim is education and other services, the next target of such forces might be Masjids,' Khan said. He reminded the government that many senior politicians including former ministers to some top officials in the government were alumni of Jamaat schools. 'That way entire Kashmir needs to be banned,' Khan said. 'There were systematic attempts to revoke Articles 35-A and Article 370.' He said if these articles were even tinkered with, not only would the State's bond with New Delhi break but it would also result in such a situation that no efforts to control the situation would work. Khan said New Delhi's policies since 2016 had only worsened, leaving Kashmir on the edge. 'While tourism and business are badly affected now, by extending winter vacations of the students, the government has further attacked the academic activities,' he said. Khan said the frequent highway blockade had left over 70 lakh people in Kashmir starving for essentials. Asking the Indian civil society to play its role, he said New Delhi can do anything dramatic in Kashmir ahead of the Parliament polls. 'NIA raids are being carried out to crush Kashmir's economy and the civil society and political parties need to look at the matter seriously and find a way out,' Khan said. Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Socio Economic Coordination Committee (JKSECC), an amalgam of various trade, industrial, travel, tour, tourism, horticulture, educational, contractors pharmaceutical, houseboat, bakers and transport organisations and civil society formations, also called for a shutdown on Tuesday in Kashmir, Chenab and Pir Panjal against the extension of partial abrogation of Article 370 and ban on Jamaat. Terming the ban on the socio-religio-political organisation Jamaat-e-Islami as 'illegal, unconstitutional and undemocratic', JKSECC expressed their strong resentment against the extension of union law to the State at a time when no elected government was in place. 'This indicates that GoI is preparing and planning a big assault on the State's special status with presumed withdrawal or erosion of Article 370 and Article 35-A. The Governor of the state needs to introspect about his representative character and understand that he doesn't represent people of the State but GoI as its nominated agent and has no moral, ethical, legal and constitutional right to accord any concurrence to the extension of Union laws to the State. The new methodology adopted by GoI in connivance of its own nominee is fraught with dangerous consequences,' JKSECC said. Criticising the Governor for imposing ban on Jamaat-e-Islami at the behest of GoI without any logic or justification, JKSECC said the Governor's administration was in know of the activities of Jamaat and their contributing in the areas of education and religious preaching. 'The organisation has no case pending against them in any court of law or with the Police department which shows that the action has been taken purely at the behest of anti-Muslim rightwing Hindutva organisations including BJP,' JKSECC said. It cautioned both the State government and New Delhi saying, 'They should desist from testing the patience of the majority community by inflicting pain through unconstitutional means as if the muscular militaristic approach let loose on the populace of Kashmir is not enough for giving them sadistic pleasure.' JKSECC urged upon both New Delhi and the State government for immediate revocation of the union laws and ban on Jamaat or be ready for a 'united and sustained resistance' from the business community, civil society and the general public.