Tuesday, July 17, 2018 | 8:23 AM

‘India using NIA to silence pro-Article 35A voices in Kashmir’

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

India is using the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in occupied Kashmir to muzzle voices that have opposed the assault on the Article 35(A) of Indian constitution, said a civil society group.

Senior lawyer G N Shaheen who is a member of the group, ‘We The People’, addressing a press conference in Srinagar said, “NIA is being used as weapon to suppress and muzzle the voices against the abrogation of article 35-A. It is a ploy to take away the special status of JK but we will oppose it tooth and nail.” 

Shaheen said the government of India has been using state forces against the people. He said that the application of GST and SARFAESI Act in Jammu and Kashmir has further diluted the Article 370 and surrendered financial autonomy of J&K to the Central government.

“These tactics by the Central government have given a reasonable apprehension in the minds of the people that attempts are being made to abrogate the Article 35-A by involving the Supreme Court of India in a very sensitive political issue which demands reasonable and appropriate response before the Supreme Court of India besides political measures,” he said.

Another member of the group, Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam, commenting on the visit of Indian Home minister Rajnath Singh to Kashmir, said the visit has raised apprehensions instead of hopes. 

“Kashmir is not a law and order problem or an economic issue which could be solved by force or economic packages, but political prudence demands political measures to address the Kashmir issue,” he said.

He said petitions calling for abrogation of Article 35-A is one more attempt to dilute Article 370, which grants special status to J&K under the Indian Constitution.

“There is unanimity among all political sections and social, cultural and economic organisations that Article 35-A should be left untouched till the final resolution of Kashmir dispute,” he added.

President Awami National Conference Muzaffar Shah said, “To build consensus for safeguarding the Article 35-A we will confront all legal and political challenges thrown at it by the adversaries,” he said, adding that they have met political heads of various organisations having representation in the Legislative Assembly.

Chairman of All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) Jagmohan Singh Raina, and Advocate Mir Javid were also present on the occasion.