PDP, Congress stage protests as Article 370 abrogation marks three years

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Members of the Peoples Democratic Party and the Congress on Friday staged protests to mark the third anniversary of the repeal of special status of Jammu and Kashmir, PTI reported. They also sought a rollback of the Article 370 abrogation.

Mehbooba Mufti, the Peoples Democratic Party chief, and other members of the outfit gathered at the party office near the Sher-e-Kashmir Municipal Park in Srinagar to protest against the Centre’s move.

They marched towards Lal Chowk, but were stopped by the police, PTI reported.

They were, however, briefly allowed to sit in a demonstration outside the party office, where the members raised placards and banners, demanding the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

On August 5, 2019, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government abrogated Article 370, stripping Jammu and Kashmir of its special status which was given when the princely state acceded to India in 1947. After the abrogation, the erstwhile state was split into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

On Friday, Mufti told reporters that her party will not only work towards restoring the special status but also towards finding a lasting solution for the Kashmir conflict, PTI reported.

“In the coming time, they [Centre] will destroy the Constitution and foundations on which this country stands,” the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said. “They will make this a theological state and replace the tricolour with a saffron flag. They will change the national flag as they did with our Constitution and flag. But we are determined to fight for restoration of what has been snatched from us.”

She later took to Twitter, stating that the “malicious designs” of the BJP for Jammu and Kashmir have “unravelled”.

“The pattern of suppression and fear is now knocking at the door in rest of the country too,” she wrote. “Weaponising their pet agencies and using terror laws to stifle dissent has become the norm.”

A delegation of the Congress, led by former minister Tariq Karra and senior leader Taj Mohiuddin, also assembled at the party office on Maulana Azad Road in Srinagar, PTI reported.

They were, however, not allowed by the police to take to the streets.

Meanwhile, National Conference President Farooq Abdullah led a meeting at Nawai-Subha complex in the city.

“August 5, 2019 marks breach of trust, decisions not acceptable to us,” the National Conference spokesperson quoted Abdullah in a tweet. “We hope that SC will reverse the unilateral, undemocratic and unconstitutional decisions. Will continue to fight for our rights peacefully.”

Omar Abdullah wrote on Twitter that the National Conference will continue its fight against the government’s move.

“The road ahead may be a long one, full of twists and turns but it’s not one Jammu and Kashmir National Conference will abandon,” he wrote.

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