New Delhi, Aug 30 (UNI) Hundreds of intellectuals, mediapersons and civil rights activists today sat on a 'dharna' at Jantar Mantar, here protesting against the crackdown on non-violent protesters of Jammu and Kashmir, seeking to exercise their democratic rights to determine their political destiny on their own.
The protest, organised by People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), The Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) and Janhastakshep (a People's Intervention Group, Delhi) condemned the alleged economic blockage resorted to by the Hindutva elements on Jammu-Srinagar Highway, saying that ''no one has the right to starve the Kashmiris into subjugation.'' Shouting slogans and carrying banners against the alleged ''repression, that has been let loose in the Kashmir valley, with the imposition of curfew, spanning several days at a stretch''. The black laws like Armed Forces Special Act (AFSPA) and the Disturbed Area Act were in force in Jammu and Kashmir for the past 16 years, were being flagrantly misused to suppress the Kashmiris, they alleged, adding that all these 'undemocratic statutes' should be withdrawn immediately.
In a separate statement released to the press, the Communist Party of India( Maoists) extended its full support to the Kashmiri people's struggle for 'Azadi' and the demand of the majority of non-violent people of the valley, which could no longer be sidetracked by creating a wedge between the two communities of the Jammu and Kashmir. The government should keep in mind that the US, the mightiest powers on the earth, could not keep Vietnam under its control and had to free the Vietnamese after a 14-year-long full-fledged war, the statement alleged.
The protesters at the 'dharna' and several other Left and civil rights organisations demanded that the government should not allow the communalisation of the situation in the Jammu and Kashmir and should hold a dialogue with the representatives of the state people, respecting their democratic aspirations.
The protesters adopted a resolution seeking the opening up of the road and trade with Muzaffarabad and penalising of former Governor S K Sinha and former Chief Ministers - Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, for fanning communal passion and rootcausing the present controversy by transferring the land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) against the law of the state.
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