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JKNPP chief says will seek ‘restoration of statehood, rights taken away’

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Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Panthers Party (JKNPP) founder Bhim Singh on Monday said he is taking part in the scheduled all-party meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on June 24.

Singh chaired a three-and-a-half hours long meeting of senior party leaders to discuss the invitation extended by the Centre to him along with leaders of seven other parties.

“I am leaving for Delhi on Wednesday after my party leaders from Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh unanimously decided that we should accept the invitation and attend the meeting to seek restoration of full statehood along with other rights as guaranteed by the constitution which were taken away from us on August 05, 2019,” Singh was quoted as saying by PTI.

He said most of the leaders from different districts of Jammu, Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh attended the meeting through virtual mode and “everyone was of the view that J&K and Ladakh should be united again”.

Appreciating the Prime Minister for inviting J&K parties for the meeting, he said the Panthers Party would represent both Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh in true sense to seek return of peace, equity and equality for the local residents and will ask what needs to be done to save J&K from further death and destruction.

“We will press for holding of early assembly elections,” he said, adding the party rejects the delimitation commission which is based on the 2011 census and will take up the issue during the meeting.

He alleged that Delhi has committed blunders in Jammu and Kashmir over the years and “the process has not ended yet”.

“My approach is very simple: where is the document of accession which was signed by my Maharaja? You have revoked Article 370 but where is the reference on the instrument of accession which has not been approved?” said Singh, who is a Supreme Court lawyer.

The Instrument of Accession was signed on October 26, 1947 between Maharaja Hari Singh, the then ruler of princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Indian government to accede J&K to independent India.

The JKNPP leaders said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been given special rights by royal decree and it was made clear that these cannot be changed or converted under chapter three of the constitution.

“Delhi has done so many blunders with regard to J&K and has not learned any lessons till date. I feel surprised,” he said.

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