Release J&K political detainees, urges Concerned Citizens’ Group

The Concerned Citizens’ Group (CCG), headed by former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, sought the release of all political detainees in Jammu and Kashmir on Eid-ul-Fitr.

“Many senior political leaders, including a former Chief Minister [Mehbooba Mufti], continue to be in detention in several cases under the draconian Public Safety Act. Meanwhile, there are attempts to incubate artificial political processes – through the village and local body elections and facilitating the launch of a new political party. However, these processes have failed to fill the political vacuum,” the CCG said in a statement. It wanted the Centre to release all those detained since August last.

The Union government had also used the lockdown to implement domicile laws for the Union Territory that should have been debated by people’s representatives and affected citizens. “Do not use the lack of a legislative Assembly to push through policies with long term consequences,” it said.

‘Restore 4G Net’

The CCG demanded the restoration 4G Internet in J&K to alleviate the problems of businessmen, traders, healthcare professionals and, most importantly, students so that they do not lose an academic year.

“The communication lockdown – permitting only 2G Internet, premised on the assumption that faster Internet speeds help terrorists — is causing havoc not only in banking, trade, business and healthcare but in the field of education as well. The 2G technology cannot sustain online learning, which is a ready option being used in the rest of the country. The problem is particularly acute for students who have returned home because of the pandemic from universities and colleges in the rest of India. They cannot attend online classes and webinars or submit assignments. They may not be able to appear for online end-semester examinations which universities and colleges plan to hold soon,” it said.

The other members of the group are former National Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, Air Vice-Marshall (Retd.) Kapil Kak, senior journalist Bharat Bhushan and Sushobha Barve.

With inputs from The Hindu