Jammu: While questioning the ‘silence’ of Home Minister Amit Shah on recent killings in Kashmir, the Congress party today called for immediate restoration of statehood and return of democratically elected government in Jammu and Kashmir.
Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is on a tour of Jammu and Kashmir, said that he finds no reason why restoration of statehood should be delayed any further. “This should be the immediate step”, he told reporters in Srinagar while leaving for Jammu.
The party also questioned the “silence” of Home Minister Amit Shah after the “selective killings” of 32 civilians and nine soldiers in the Union territory.
“Even after the selective murder of 32 civilians and nine soldiers, the home minister is still silent. This means that neither is Government of India, under whose direct jurisdiction is Jammu and Kashmir, able to understand the situation, nor can it tackle the situation,” Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh told reporters in New Delhi.
“We demand that full statehood be given to Jammu and Kashmir immediately and there should be a government by democratic process and as per the Constitution of the country, and not by bypassing the Constitution.
“The people who have left Jammu and Kashmir should be immediately provided with financial assistance and employment opportunities at the place of their return,” Vallabh said in the wake of exodus of migrant workers from Jammu and Kashmir.
Noting that Government of India made several promises about the development of the Union territory, he asked why employment rate there is the lowest in the country and why the tourist footfall and capital inflow has decreased since it came under the direct control of the Centre.
Selective murders are taking place because the Centre is unable to govern the state and that is why democratically elected governments should be put in place, Vallabh said.
Asking why the situation there has reached this stage, the Congress leader said J&K and Ladakh are in direct control of the central government and the home minister has not made any statement on the situation there.
“He might be busy in saving the minister of state from going to jail and he is devoting most of his time there,” he alleged referring to Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra whose son has been arrested for allegedly mowing down farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri.
Vallabh said this is the peak season as far as economic activity in Jammu and Kashmir is concerned and during this time, these kinds of events are happening and the home minister is silent.
“Why can’t he speak up on the reason for these killings? For the first time there are selective killings. It shows that Government of India has utterly failed to understand the ground realities in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Vallabh also claimed that the unemployment rate is 21.6 per cent there, the highest in the country, and it shows the total lack of empathy by Government of India on this issue.