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Kashmiri Pandits hail scrapping of Art 370; J-K students in Delhi voice concern for kin back home

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hailed the Centre's move to abolish Article 370 hoping it will bring peace and development to Jammu and Kashmir, even as Kashmiri students in the national capital expressed concern for their family members back home.

Kashmiri Pandits, displaced from the Valley in the 1990s, also hailed the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution as a "historic event" and hoped it would pave the way for their return to homeland with honour and dignity.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah moved a resolution in Rajya Sabha to abolish Article 370 of the Constitution, which accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, after the president issued a notification, and introduced a Bill to divide the state into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

"We hope this will bring peace and development in the state," the chief minister tweeted.

Kejriwal said the AAP supports the Centre's move on Jammu and Kashmir.

Bhagwant Mann is the Aam Aadmi Party's lone member in Lok Sabha, while it has three members -- Sanjay Singh, Sushil Gupta and N D Gupta -- in Rajya Sabha.

Following the Centre's move, an uneasy calm prevailed at two of the Jammu and Kashmir Houses in Delhi, even as authorities said security deployment at these establishments remained as usual.

Kashmiri students in the city termed the the central government's move as "dictatorial" and expressed concern about the safety of their family members back home.

Former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Shehla Rashid, who has been vocal against the scrapping of Article 370, said they would approach the Supreme Court in the matter.

Rashid is a member of former IAS officer Shah Faesal's political outfit Jammu and Kashmir Peoples' Movement (JKPM).

"We will challenge the order passed today in the Supreme Court. The move to replace "Government" by "Governor" and Constituent Assembly by "Legislative Assembly" is a fraud upon the Constitution. Appeal to progressive forces for solidarity. Protests today in Delhi and Bangalore," she tweeted.

JNUSU general secretary Aejaz Ahmed Rather said, "It is unconstitutional and dictatorship is being perpetrated from the floor of Parliament."

"Nothing is left for us. I had spoken to my family on Sunday night and they said, 'Please come and see us once. We do not know how much more time we have'. With everything being shut there, we are not even able to contact our families," Rather said.

However, Kashmiri Pandits, displaced from the Valley in the 1990s, hailed the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution as a "historic event".

Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora (GKPD), a body representing the community across the world, said the decision cements territorial, political and cultural unity of the Indian Union.

"August 5, 2019 will go down in the history of the country as a day that has put the lasting seal on the sovereignty of Parliament over the entire Indian Union," it said in a statement.

"The draft bill presented by Home Minister Amit Shah in Parliament vindicates the ideals of our great leaders like Syama Prasad Mookerji, Deendayal Upadhyaya, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and others who dedicated or sacrificed their lives for the integrity and sovereignty of India," the GKPD said.

This is for the first time that the exiled community has heaved a sigh of relief that its identity, culture and symbols of heritage will find full protection and perpetuation under the Union territory dispensation, the statement said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, August 05 2019. 20:10 IST