Manish Tewari says Centre’s decisions on J&K will have long-term consequences, alleges collapse of judiciary in UT

Congress MP Manish Tewari on Wednesday said the decisions of the government to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories will have long-term consequences and called upon the government to listen to the voice of its residents.

He said the situation in the union territory was becoming “serious” and alleged that there was a collapse of the judiciary.

Initiating the debate on supplementary demands for grants for Jammu and Kashmir from April 1, 2019 to Oct 30, 2019, he said the decisions of the government to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories had been taken due to “narrow politics” and “the country will have to bear long-term consequences”.

He said while National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah has been released, two former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are yet to be released.

“There is no satisfactory answer whey they were detained. (Use of) Public Safety Act is illegal. I condemn the government’s action,” he said.

Tewari also demanded a list of people who have been arrested or detained in different jails of country after abrogation of Article 370 since August 5, 2019.

Tewari said there was “internet lockdown” for nearly five months and it had not been properly restored even after Supreme Court ruled that the “right to internet is a fundamental right”.

He said that the innocent children had suffered the maximum due to “lockdown” as over 11,000 schools remained closed for seven months.

He alleged there has been collapse of judiciary in Jammu and Kashmir.

Tewari said when a Habeas Corpus petition is filed, the court gives it primacy as it is an instrument used by a citizen for protection of his life and property.

He said 459 Habeas Corpus petitions were pending, over 400 of which were pending before the Kashmir bench of the high court.

He alleged that the judiciary was not ready to hear these cases and a “mockery of institutions” was taking place.

Referring to economic loss, he said Jammu and Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry had estimated that there had been a loss of Dollar 2.4 billion dollars in four months.

The Congress member said that 70 per cent of people in the state were dependent on agriculture and the sector has suffered a loss of Rs 10,000 crore in the past seven months.

Tewari said the state earned Rs 6,500 crore in 2016-17 due to trade in apples but the crop had not been harvested till October last year.

He said that tourism, which provided direct employment to 5 lakh people and to indirect employment to 26 lakh people, had also “collapsed”.

Tewari said the government itself had brought down its estimates of earning from tourism to Rs 1170 crore from Rs 1670 crore in 2019-20.

“There is no economic progress if there is no peace. The decisions of August 5 and 6 (last year) have disrupted social amity. Open your years and listen to the voice of Jammu and Kashmir. A serious situation is developing and the budget of Rs 1 lakh crore will not have an impact,” he said.

Apart from the supplementary demands for grants, the House also took up a discussion on demands for grants in respect of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for the year 2019-20 from October 31, 2019, to March 31, 2020.

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