Police thwart Apni Party protest against Delimitation Commission’s draft proposals
Srinagar/Jammu: Police on Wednesday foiled a protest march by Apni Party against the draft proposals of the Delimitation Commission.
Scores of party leaders and activists led by Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari assembled at the party office at Sheikh Bagh area in Srinagar and tried to take out the march towards the Civil Secretariat.
However, a posse of policemen stopped the protesters just outside the party office and did not allow them to move towards Lal Chowk.
Wearing black masks and bands, the protesters tried to resist the police action, but could not succeed.
The party, however, staged a silent protest march in Jammu and sought the intervention of the central government in the matter which it said “posed a threat to the integrity and soul of our constitution”.
The party also said the Real Estate Summit held in Jammu recently undermines the domicile law that has been introduced to safeguard the rights of the natives of J&K.
“Such moves require majoritarian consent of the locals which can thereafter be implemented by a government elected by the people,” it said.
The issues were highlighted in a memorandum, addressed to Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, and handed over by the party leaders led by senior vice-president Ghulam Hassan Mir to Divisional Commissioner (Jammu) Raghav Langer.
The Delimitation Commission, set up to redraw the Assembly seats of the Union territory, is learnt to have proposed six additional seats for Jammu region and one for Kashmir in its ‘Paper 1’ discussed with its five associate members – three parliamentarians of the National Conference and two of the BJP from J&K – in Delhi on December 20.
“The panel report defeats the very idea of a secular India…the party takes a strong exception to such unprincipled edicts that primarily are aimed to disturb the harmony in J&K where people of different religious beliefs and ethnicities have continued to live together in peace,” the party alleged.
The JKAP also demanded that the Union government desist from “censoring the media” in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The media outlets and press are facing immense hurdles in reporting from the ground and numerous policies are being introduced every now and then which impedes it to function properly,” it said.
Lashing out at the Centre, Bukhari said they tell the world that there is democracy and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, but they did not allow a peaceful protest.
“This protest was to represent the aspirations and wishes of our people. The draft report by the Delimitation Commission is totally against the mandate of the Commission. They (the Centre) formed the Commission, otherwise the delimitation was not to happen till 2026,” he told reporters.
The Apni Party leader demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah intervene in the issue and “reconsider the proposals and bring a new draft before the people”.
Referring to the Real Estate Summit held in Jammu recently, Bukhari said the party’s protest was also against the “way the domicile was omitted through backdoor”.
“If the government is trying to allow non-state subjects to buy land or houses here, then it is against the order which the Government of India issued after creating the Union Territory (UT). We were given an assurance that there will be no demographic change and the land and jobs here will only be for state subjects,” he said.
On the police’s special investigation team (SIT) giving clean chit to security forces in Hyderpora encounter, Bukhari said “inquiry or no inquiry, Hyderpora is a murder”. (With PTI inputs)