September 2019 News

Huge Crisis Unfolding In Kashmir: Azad

27 September 2019
The Tribune
Aditi Tandon

New Delhi: Back from a six-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad today said the situation there was 'deplorable' and a huge crisis was unfolding in the Valley where the poor in most parts had nothing to eat. 'A huge crisis is unfolding in Kashmir and the fears I had expressed while seeking Supreme Court's permission to travel to J&K have come true,' Azad said in an interview to The Tribune. The former CM alleged the government was resorting to intimidation and suppression of facts and that things had come to such a pass that people were resorted to civil disobedience as a mark of protest. 'What I was told was alarming. Ever since the government passed the legislation making J&K a UT and scrapping Article 370, people in the Valley have been boycotting public transport and refusing to open shops. Groceries are opened briefly twice a day. A massive civil disobedience movement, the kind Mahatma Gandhi practised, is on. Unprecedented anger not seen in the past 30 years is building up,' Azad warned, adding what the government had done in JK was 'not needed.' The Congress veteran flagged exhausting food supplies in the Valley, seeking free ration for the poor who, he said, hadn't made money since the clampdown. 'Since the day of the shutdown, people in Kashmir have been using rice donated during Ramzan to sustain poor labourers there. Now these stocks have exhausted in 50 per cent of the places and people have nothing left to eat. They have no money to buy food either,' Azad rued, terming the situation as a 'government-induced calamity.' He alleged the Centre tried its best to prevent locals from meeting him and even video-graphed visitors. 'In Srinagar I wasn't allowed to use my house. I was put up in a government accommodation which was like a fortress. People had to cross three barriers to reach me and most were sent back. At the gate were stationed state vigilance and CID teams. A camera was installed to capture visitors. In Anantnag, they even recorded my conversation with locals.' He claimed the situation in Jammu was no better. 'The impression being given about Jammu celebrating the government decision is false.' The Congess leader demanded the release of detainees, including three former CMs - Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.