Shock & distress of Kashmiris is unprecedented: Yousuf Tarigami

New Delhi: CPM Kashmiri leader Yousuf Tarigami on Tuesday said that the silence of Kashmir should not be mistaken as “acceptance” of the humiliation unleashed on August 5. He told this to media persons in New Delhi. Although the Supreme Court had said in the habeas corpus case that Tarigami was not under detention and could move around after informing the district administration, the four-time CPM legislator had not been allowed to do so. He visited Delhi for a check-up at AIIMS on what he called his “medical visa”.

The CPM central committee member revealed to the media that the Valley had been turned into a prison with most hotels and guesthouses being used to lodge detainees. When he was asked how long the “civil disobedience” would continue? He retorted: “Do you ask a person who has met with a tragedy how long the tears will flow?”

Telegraph India quoted Tarigami as saying, “We have seen turmoil earlier as well as a lot of violence and destruction. But this is different. Irrespective of the earlier divide, everyone feels humiliated. Those who have stood by unity despite the bullets, those who kept away from the mainstream, and the common people, all feel betrayed as one.”

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Tarigami warned of serious implication if the issue is not addressed by the democratic opinion in the rest of India. “The constitution of Jammu and Kashmir has been dismantled and the state has been dismembered’’ he asserted.

Tarigami questioned that if Jammu and Kashmir is now fully integrated with India as claimed by the government, why the provisions of the Indian Constitution are not being applied to the state and people don’t enjoy fundamental right to freedom of expression in their own state?

Expressing disappointment over Opposition practically abandoning the Kashmiris in what he described as the most terrible period in their recent history, Tarigami urged the Opposition to raise their voices against the atrocities being committed on Kashmiris and to “come out of their slumber before it is too late’’.

Tarigami also urged media to visit Kashmir and see for themselves the ground reality as opposed to the claims made by the Centre.

In an interview with BusinessLine, the four-time MLA disclosed that despite a Supreme Court order, political leaders in the Kashmir Valley are still under arrest and the situation is far from normal after 80 days of blockade in Jammu and Kashmir.

Describing the present situation of Kashmir, Tarigami revealed ‘life is paralysed. Schools, colleges and universities are open, but without teachers and students. We have seen violence and bloodbath since 1989, but the shock and distress our population is facing now is unprecedented.’

Refuting the government claims that there are no major protests and people have accepted the Centre’s decision, Tarigami asks, ‘Have you ever heard of protests in Tihar jail? The entire valley is like a jail now. Many of my colleagues are in detention camps or under house arrest. Young boys are languishing in jails and their parents do not know their whereabouts. There is something called fundamental rights. Shouldn’t I have the rights to express my pain? The Constitution is being violated in its entirety in Kashmir. Leading newspapers have become government gazettes. Only one political party can function and the rest of the parties will have to sit silently.’

Yousuf Tarigami further claimed that the people of the state are in acute financial crisis; their fruit crops have rotten and the carpet industry has stopped functioning leaving weavers jobless. A number of people’s livelihood is dependent on tourism but the tourists were scared away by the administration and were dragged out of hotels. Tourism and handicraft industry has become defunct due to non-availability of the internet as it was solely based on the internet.

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