IIOJK converted into open-air prison: Mehbooba Mufti


Since illegal abrogation of Art 370
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti has said that occupied Jammu and Kashmir has been converted into an open-air prison since August 05, 2019 when Article 370 was illegally abrogated by the BJP government, adding there has been an unending onslaught on the Kashmiris’ collective identity, land, jobs and resources since that day.
According to Kashmir Media Service, Mehbooba Mufti made the remarks at a press conference in Srinagar while releasing the party manifesto for the Indian parliamentary polls.
The PDP president, who is contesting from south Kashmir’s Anantnag-Rajouri seat, said, “Since 2019, after the illegal abrogation of Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir has been converted into an open-air prison. There has been an unending onslaught on our collective identity, land, jobs, resources and infringement upon the very freedom to speak”. She pledged to raise a voice against this onslaught in the Indian parliament.
She said people, in the past five years, were being made to believe that our collective disempowerment was our fait accompli. “They [the BJP] are trying to enforce a sullen sense of silence and defeat. Our voice is the only weapon to fight these nefarious designs,” Mufti said.
She said a slew of decisions were taken thousands of kilometres away in Delhi on a daily basis to disempower and dispossess the Kashmiris. “First starting with drastic changes to State subject and land laws. It was followed by outsourcing of our resources by gifting contracts to outsiders, from sand to lithium. Even development projects are handed over to non-locals,” she said.
Mehbooba Mufti said hundreds of government employees were fired on flimsy grounds. “Along with livelihoods, passports too have been criminalised. Every recruitment scheme since 2019 stands tainted by murky scams. Thus, depriving our hardworking aspirants of job opportunities,” Mufti said.
She said thousands of youngsters continue to languish in jails in and outside IIOJK as undertrials. “The horticulture sector which is the backbone of our economy has also borne the brunt of a set of anti-trade measures taken such as removal of tax barriers on imported apples and walnuts.”