oppn parties J&K: Delaying The Political Process Will Backfire In The Long Run

News Snippets

  • SC says it will revisit its definition of 'Hindutva' in the light of growing hate speeches
  • Indigo reduces the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra to three months after an inquiry committee finds that it was a Level 1 offense not meriting a 6-month ban
  • Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says Delhi Police did not act on his phone call asking them to help 16 people trapped in riot-hit areas
  • AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for murder and arson, says he is being framed
  • New HC bench allows the Delhi Police plea that the situation is no conducive to the filing of FIRs and also allows the Centre to become a party to the case
  • Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who was part of the bench that pulled up the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against BJP leaders for hate speeches, transferred to Punjab HC
  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
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J&K: Delaying The Political Process Will Backfire In The Long Run

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2020-02-07 11:31:42

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

Six months have passed from the time the Centre took the momentous steps in J&K to remove Article 370, redraw the boundaries of the state and make both J&K and Ladakh Union territories (UT's). It had also put all front line political leaders of the state under house arrest or preventive detention without any charge to prevent them from protesting against the action and maybe lead rallies that would have spun the situation out of control. Though a draconian step, it seemed appropriate at that time to prevent bloodshed and strife. But little did we know that the government was bent on keeping them arrested for an indefinite period. Now, as their preventive detention without any charge is no longer tenable, they have been slapped with charges under the draconian Public Safety Act which allows detention without trial for three months. It can be extended multiple times without a court order.

This is a regressive step by the government. J&K would return to full normalcy only if elections are held under the new scheme of things. For this, it is necessary that the top political leadership is released from detention and allowed to meet the people. The reality is that Article 370 is no longer there and so J&K does not enjoy special privileges. The political leadership in the state will have to live with this. If they are released and if they accept the new ground reality and work accordingly, they should be allowed the political space. If they incite the people and cause strife, they can be rearrested under applicable laws. But to keep them incarcerated just on the assumption that they will disturb the peace is undemocratic and will backfire in the long run.

The Kashmir valley is showing signs of returning to normalcy. It is being reported that the lower-level leadership in both the National Conference and the PDP has accepted the new ground rules. Their acceptance has largely been influenced by the view around the world that J&K is India's internal matter. If Pakistan had got traction for its views about J&K maybe the Kashmiri politicians would have sided with it. But with Pakistan unable to bring any major nation or group around to its view, they have been left with no alternative. Hence, the government would do well to release Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti to resume the political process in the state.

It is doubtful whether the UT of J&K would develop to its full potential under the Lieutenant Governor. Any state needs elected representatives of the people to draw up and implement schemes for its development. Indefinite denial of this to the people of J&K will defeat the purpose of removing Article 370. J&K will integrate faster with India if it is developed like the rest of the country. For this, it needs an elected government. The government must not delay the political process by keeping the entire top political leadership of the state behind bars.