Hundreds in India petition Modi govt on IOK situation » Kashmir Media Service

New Delhi, October 07 (KMS): Indians have petitioned the country’s president and prime minister on the current situation in occupied Kashmir, describing the current restrictions in the region “unacceptable”.

Some 284 petitioners, including academics, journalists, political leaders and others, said in the document: “On humanitarian grounds, we find this situation unacceptable.”

“On democratic grounds, too, we find this situation unacceptable. If the government can take away the freedom of expression and the right to debate legislation that affects their lives in occupied Kashmir, what prevents them from doing so across the country?,” said the petition, addressed to Indian President, Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

“It is not too late to roll back the lockdown, hold legislative assembly elections in occupied Kashmir and let the people decide on Article 370 and statehood. We appeal to the government to do so,” it added, referring the article of Indian Constitution that had guaranteed the special status of the Muslim-majority regoin since 1954 until last month.

It also underlined that the decision to revoke Kashmir’s special status and bifurcate the region into two union territories was taken without consulting locals.

Occupied Kashmir has been under lockdown since the Indian government’s move on Aug 5 to scrap the special status of occupied Kashmir. Since then, the Indian government has blocked communication access and imposed draconian restrictions on movement to thwart any protests in the region.

Several rights groups including the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have repeatedly urged India to lift restrictions and release political detainees.

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