Yashwant Sinha refutes Amit Shah’s claims of normalcy in IOK » Kashmir Media Service

Srinagar, November 23 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, former leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Yashwant Sinha, has refuted Indian Home Minister, Amit Shah’s claims about the return of normalcy in the territory.

Yashwant Sinha, the former Indian external affairs minister, is part of a team on a four-day visit to the Valley for an independent assessment of the prevailing situation in the aftermath of the repeal of Kashmir’s special status by the Indian government on August 5. The team also includes Wajahat Habibullah, Bharat Bhushan, Sushoba Bharve and Kapil Kak.

Talking to reporters in Srinagar, Sinha said, “Home Minister, Amit Shah gave a one-sided picture of the Kashmir situation, which is far from normal as people in the (Kashmir) Valley are angry and distressed about the present situation. The statements made by him in the Parliament are totally averse to the ground situation. The picture of normalcy presented is incorrect.”

He said that Kashmir had been reeling under severe uncertainty since August 5 and their team would gauge the actual ground situation and present the same to Indian government. He said that people had suffered huge losses and their lives had been affected. “People associated with the trade and industries, tourism and transport have suffered huge losses; whole chain has been disrupted,” he said.

He said that people were unable to pay back loans. “I have seen banks seizing the vehicles of transporters who were unable to pay bank loans due to lack of transportation and tourism. “Livelihood of several people has been affected and this aspect has not been counted in the normalcy. Whatever we have heard in the Parliament no one talked about this aspect. The economic loss which the people have suffered here would be our priority. We would talk to the people of Chamber and Commerce. Our effort will be to present right picture of Jammu and Kashmir to India,” he added.

Yashwant Sinha said that although they had not carried out assessment but saw shops closed on way to hotel from airport. “We have not carried any assessment yet. We just came from airport and found all shops shut on our way. It suggests that the chain has been disrupted,” he maintained.

Former chief information commissioner of India, Wajahat Habibullah, who is part of a group called ‘Concerned Citizens’ Group’ that arrived here on Wednesday, said the suspension of the democratic liberties of people is of highest concern for him. “If the democratic liberties of people are muzzled, that should be immediately restored,” he said.

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