SRINAGAR – Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party on Wednesday staged a silent protest against the introduction of various government laws that are detrimental to the interests of the local inhabitants of the region.
In Kashmir division, the protest march was carried out under the leadership of Apni Party President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari alongwith other party stalwarts. The march commenced from the Party Head office at Sheikh Bagh, Lal Chowk which was later on halted by the police officials.
In a similar protest at Jammu, the silent march was led by Party Senior Vice President Ghulam Hassan Mir who was accompanied by Party leadership belonging to the Jammu division.
The nature of the protest was to register the dissent of the Party with regards to the recent Delimitation Report, tampering with Domicile Law and freedom of press. The Party Leadership also submitted a comprehensive memorandum wherein the demands with regards to safeguarding the rights of the people of J&K were propounded.
The memorandum reads as under:
The Lieutenant Governor
UT of Jammu and Kashmir
Sub: Memorandum of Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party
Hon’ble Manoj Sinha Ji
Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party on 29th December 2021 carried out a silent protest march registering its dissent with regards to the recent Delimitation Commission report, terming it unscientific and in violation to the laid down parameters in the corresponding order.
Earlier, the Party had welcomed the Delimitation Commission and even interacted with their delegation while suggesting certain requisite changes. We believed that the process would be factual and transparent however the recent proposed report is visibly disproportionate and encourages the doubts of favoritism towards a specific political party.
This (Delimitation panel) report defeats the very idea of a secular Indiaand compromises on the rules guiding the process involved in territorial delimitations of Assembly constituencies as mandated by the Election Commission India and the constitution.
Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party takes a strong exception to such unprincipled edicts that primarily are aimed to disturb the harmony in J&K where people of different religious belief and ethnicities have continued to live together in peace. However, Apni Party will never allow these schemes to succeed as we believe in the idea of equal representation and development of all the regions of J&K.
Therefore, we urge the Central Government to intervene in this matter that poses a threat to the integrity and soul of our constitution.
Real Estate Summit
Pertinently, Apni Party has always welcomed the prospective initiatives that are incorporated to uplift the regional economy and benefit the local inhabitant of J&K. But the Real Estate Summit held in Jammu undermines the Domicile Law that has been introduced to safeguard the rights of the natives of J&K.
Such moves require majoritarian consent of the locals which can thereafter be implemented by a government elected by the people. The local population has a deep resentment over these arbitrary laws which routinely gives them an impression of disempowerment and adds further to the feeling of alienation.
Apni Party is resolute in its demand that these decisions fall specifically under the domain of an elected government while the current administration must focus on safeguarding the rights of the people, curbing spiking unemployment rates and inflation in the Union Territory.
Freedom of Press
Moreover, Apni Party demands that the Government should desist from censoring the media in Jammu and Kashmir and should encourage the constructive criticism that is essential for bolstering democratic values.
The Constitution of India guarantees ‘Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression’ which needs to be put in practice in letter and spirit. The media outlets and Press are facing immense hurdles in reporting on ground and numerous policies are being introduced every now and then which impedes it to function properly.
Apni Party stands resolute with the Press and for their rights to express fair opinions and constructive criticism.
Therefore, Apni demands that while carrying out the delimitation process and implementing other laws to the region of Jammu and Kashmir, the secular fabric of the country must be kept intact.