Kashmir on the Verge of Faqakashi
From Our Correspondent
IQBAL Ahmad, resident of Anantnag had tears rolling down his eyes as his wife called him from a local police station in Anantnag after three days of jostling. This is how; apparently all over Kashmir valley; the people are forced to queue up at the police stations to call their relatives in mainland India; in Srinagar city just 300 landlines are made functional, it’s ridiculous! Iqbal, along with two other elected panchayat representatives, who are from the Bakarwal tribal community had come to tell their woes to the leaders of the political parties in New Delhi. They met Sitaram Yechury, general secretary and Brinda Karat, Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M) at the Party headquarters.
‘Faqakashi’, Iqbal said, will be the situation soon in Kashmir; it means the people will be forced to virtual starvation in case the ration is not provided to the people. Since June the ration was delayed and not supplied to the people in the valley and now with the promulgation of the curfew after abrogation of Article 370, it has been 25 days more to the earlier period of non-supply; the situation is very grim. The people in the villages are surviving by borrowing ration from the neighbourhood; but that too has a limit, they said.
Mumtaz and Talib Hussain who had accompanied Iqbal said that the tribal communities live at a distance from the main towns and it is difficult for them to gather ration. In case the ration is not provided soon the winters will descend after a few months and it will be difficult for the tribal communities to survive. The tribals store ration for six months to sustain themselves during the harsh winter season. The government is forcing them towards starvation, they complained.
This is the period when the peasants and other workers get engaged in the harvest of apple, dry fruits followed by paddy. Absence of work in these months with ‘no-movement’ atmosphere, the people will be ruined of their future savings. They said the ration shops are closed and the government ration is not supplied owing to non-availability of workers and curfew. There is also an acute shortage of cooking gas in the region. The valley is screaming for medicines and baby food. What to speak about higher generation drugs even simple drugs like paracetamol etc., are unavailable in the health centres.
Explaining the fear that is created in the minds of the people, they said that the State has intimidated them. Individual family members were called to the police stations and threatened not to participate in the protests after August 5. And, in case, they do participate then they shall be put in jail. According to them, more than 16,000 people from Jammu and Kashmir have been detained, arrested in several jails of J & K and even in mainland India.
They said that they have visited more than 50 panchayats and villages in their region of Anantnag district and the situation is very bad especially on the non availability of food items. The narrative of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir is totally false, they said. Even in Jammu region, except three districts of Jammu, Samba and Kathua all the other districts, Poonch, Udhampur, Rajouri, Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban are under curfew.
They said the initiative and the bold step taken by the Left and the CPI(M) in opposing the changes brought in Article 370 has generated lots of confidence in the people of the state.
EFFORTS TO POLITICALLY WIN OPPONENTS
Sheeban, media coordinator of Awami Ittehad Party led by Engineer Rashid visited the CPI(M) office and narrated how Rasheed is lodged in Tihar jail on very flimsy grounds of terror funding. Er Rasheed was elected MLA in the outgoing assembly of J & K. Sheeban met Brinda Karat; he said, on the pretext of a donation, by a very well known businessman Zahoor Batoli of Srinagar, of just Rs 1.5 lakh that too to a trust run by their party , Er Rasheed has been booked. With such a paltry amount it is stated that terror funding was organised. The trial is carried out by the NIA and effort is to break him to ensure that he becomes an alliance partner of BJP in the Kashmir valley. This is the new form of political aggrandizement that is done at the behest of BJP. He said, that Altaf Hussain, pulic relation officer of Er Rashid’s party is regularly called in the office of the NIA for questioning and every day made to sit from 8 am to 9.30 pm. This is to ensure that Rashid surrenders to the ill designs of the BJP. While hailing the position taken by the Left, he said that the principle opposition to the abrogation of Article 370 came from them which is highly acclaimed.
KASHMIRIS SHOCKED AND TERRIFIED
Another resident of the valley from Kulgam, Irfan visited the Party headquarters on August 18 and met Sitaram Yechury. He narrated the developments happening in Kashmir valley in wake of abrogation of Article 370. He said the people are taken aghast and are shocked and terrified. The fear amongst the people is very high and they are further alienated from mainstream politics. A strong feeling has gripped amongst the people that the BJP is coming to kill them. Hence it is a state of shock they are passing through.
Explaining about the political positioning of different political formations, he said with this development, those who stood with India are now being ridiculed in the state and especially in the valley. The mainstream political parties like the National Conference and People’s Democratic Party are targeted by the Jamaat e Islami, which is ridiculing these parties for pro-India stance. For our readers we must put on record that the Jamaat e Islami is the extreme right wing outfit akin to RSS in rest of India. He said the BJP intends to win the elections in Jammu and Kashmir and for that, soon a delimitation of the existing constituencies may be done to ensure their victory.