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Abrogation of Article 370 unconstitutional; J&K’s statehood must be restored: Cong leader Patil

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Pitches for constitutional safeguards for protection of jobs and land rights



Srinagar, Oct 13: Senior Congress leader Rajni Patil on Tuesday said the abrogation of Article 370 was illegal and that people in the union territory are angry about it and fear losing jobs and land to outsiders.

“The move (Article 370 abrogation) was totally unconstitutional and has been done in an undemocratic manner,” Congress in-charge for J&K Affairs, Rajni Patil, said while speaking to the reporters during a press conference here.

“For the last four days, I have been talking to the people in J&K who want the situation to be restored back as it used to be before August 05 last year,” she said.

The people of Jammu and Kashmir were angry about it being made a union territory and demand restoration of its statehood as well as adequate constitutional safeguards for the protection of jobs and land rights.

“It is for the first time that a state has been downgraded to a UT and then bifurcated. The people here are angry, they are worried about their jobs and their land. They say if the people from outside get the jobs here, what will they do. They say they had rights over their jobs and land, but have been deprived of that now,” Patil, who was flanked by J&K Congress chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir, Bashir Ahmed Magray and other senior leaders, told reporters.

She sought immediate restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood and adequate constitutional safeguards for the protection of jobs and land rights of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

The Congress leader also said that youth in Kashmir was suffering due to non-availability of 4G Internet services.

“I met the youth wing of Congress party and they have informed me about the youth here who are frustrated with the ban on 4G Internet,” she said adding “during this time when everything has switched to the online mode, the youth in Kashmir are unable to study because of the ban on high-speed Internet”.

Patil also demanded immediate release of all political prisoners, including PDP chief and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.

Criticising the BJP government at the Centre over three recent farm sector legislations, Patil said that in 2014 the Narendra Modi government made huge promises of doubling the income of farmers and providing them much relief, but it seems all the promises have fallen flat on the ground.

“Such black laws should be rolled back. Otherwise, the farmers will face huge losses,” she said.

Talking about the alleged gang-rape and death of a young woman in Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress leader said the woman was cremated in the dead of the night.

“The Modi government says ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, but we want to ask this government if daughters are not saved, how will they be educated,” she said.

Patil said the Congress would fight the attempts being made to create polarisation in the country.

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