An organisation comprising Kashmiri Pandits has asked the Narendra Modi-led Government of India to restore Article 370 that gives special status to Jammu & Kashmir, India Today reported Tuesday.
According to the report, Reconciliation, Relief and Rehabilitation, the organisation has demanded ‘immediate restoration of Article 370. Last year, the Central Government revoked Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories – Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh.
"We demand immediate restoration of statehood and special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian Constitution ensures the right to equality that extends to individuals, communities, religions, regions, and all social and political institutions. The right to equality ensures non-discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, region, or any other social and political sub-categories. Never before a state has been downgraded. This is not done in a democracy. One can't have a military solution to a political situation and can't go to war with their own people," said Satish Mahaldar, chairman of migrant Kashmiri Pandits' organisation called Reconciliation, Relief, and Rehabilitation in a statement on Monday.
Further, a News 18 report added that the group stated that it didn’t want to ‘go to war with its own people.’
Meanwhile, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said that he won't be contesting the Assembly elections while J&K remains a Union Territory. In an article in the Indian Express, the National Conference leader said, "I am very clear that while J&K remains a Union Territory I will not be contesting any Assembly elections. Having been a member of the most empowered Assembly in the land and that, too, as the leader of that Assembly for six years, I simply cannot and will not be a member of a House that has been disempowered the way ours has."
"With almost all of my senior colleagues still detained in their homes, the NC is yet to meet to decide its next political course of action and I will work diligently to strengthen the party, carry forward its agenda and continue to represent the aspirations of the people while we fight against the injustices heaped on J&K in the last one year," he added.
Abdullah said that abrogation of Article 370 was not a surprise as it was BJP's poll agenda for decades, "What came as a shock was the humiliation heaped on the state by downgrading it and splitting it into two Union Territories. Over the last seven decades, Union Territories have been upgraded to states but this was the first time a state was downgraded to a Union Territory," he said.
Earlier, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav asserted that a legislative assembly for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir would be formed “very soon”.