New Delhi, Aug 22, 2019 : The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) along with several other Opposition leaders are protesting at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to demand the immediate release of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir. Since the revocation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir provided under Article 370, several mainstream political leaders have been detained. Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abullah and Farooq Abdullah have been under house arrest for the last two weeks, Yahoo reported.
Leaders from a number of Opposition parties are present at the protest being held at Jantar Mantar. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, RJD leader Manoj Jha and CPI-M leader Brinda Karat are present at the event. The leaders raised slogans demanding the restoration of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, resumption of telecom services in the Valley and the immediate release of all political leaders who have been detained.
While announcing the protest on Twitter earlier this week, DMK chief Stalin had alleged that the Centre was isolating Jammu and Kashmir by imposing curfew and other prohibitory restrictions. "By cutting channels of communication, the government has unnecessarily created a hostile environment," Stalin said in a statement.
On August 5, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had presented a resolution in the Parliament seeking to scrap Article 370, a temporary provision which granted special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir. The resolution was passed in both the Houses on the same day. The government also passed a bill to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into 2 Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
A day before presenting the bills in the Parliament, the government imposed a curfew across Jammu and Kashmir. Communication channels like mobiles, internet and landlines were also snapped. The restrictions have been partially lifted in the last 3 days, but the 400 mainstream political leaders who were detained are yet to be released. On being questioned about Farooq Abdullah’s absence from the Lok Sabha, union home minister Amit Shah had said that the National Conference leader had not been arrested and was sitting at home out of his own free will. Abdullah rejected these claims while speaking to news channels from his home.