Srinagar: An organization of migrant Kashmiri Pandits on Monday demanded the immediate restoration of statehood and special status for Jammu and Kashmir.
Satish Mahaldar, chairman of migrant Kashmiri Pandits organization called Reconciliation, Relief and Rehabilitation, said in a statement on Monday, “We demand immediate restoration of statehood and special status to Jammu and Kashmir.”
“The Indian Constitution ensures the right to equality that extends to individuals, communities, religions, regions and all social and political institutions. The right to equality ensures non-discrimination based on religion, caste, region or any other social and political subcategories.
“Never before a state has been downgraded. This is not done in a democracy. One can’t have a military solution to a political situation and can’t go to war with their people.”
In an appeal to the Prime Minister, home minister and parliamentarians, Mahaldar said, “The people of Jammu and Kashmir are your people, love them and as a good gesture confer special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The representatives /parliamentarians are for the people, by the people and they need to understand the aspiration and the wishes of the people.”
“Special provisions should be made to safeguard the interest and aspirations of the backward regions, to protect cultural and economic benefits of the people, safeguard the minorities and deal with the disturbed law and order in some parts of the state.
“It is not that J&K was the only state with special status. Other countries too enjoy special category status. These are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand.
A wide range of provisions is available to these ten states that have been listed under Articles 371, 371-A to 371-H. Similarly, a special category status should be granted to J&K immediately.
“The central government should bear 90 per cent of the state expenditure on all centrally sponsored schemes and external aid while the rest 10 per cent should be given as loan to the state at zero per cent rate of interest.
“J&K should get preferential treatment in getting central funds, concession on excise duty to attract industries to the state.
“30 per cent of the Centre’s gross budget should also be given to J&K.”