The situation for civilians in Indian illegally Jammu Kashmir has taken a “new turn for the worse” under the Lieutenant Governor’s rule with activists and journalists targeted with sedition and anti-terror laws such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Public Safety Act being misused to target in the territory, a report by judges, ex-bureaucrats has said.
The scathing report chaired by Justice AP Shah, former chief justice of the Delhi High Court is also critical of the delimitation recommended by Justice (retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai commission and the hype around the film The Kashmir Files.
“After three years of Lieutenant Governor’s rule, civilian security has taken a new turn for the worse. The abuse of sedition and anti-terror laws such as the UAPA and PSA against activists and journalists continues,” the report added.
The annual report – ‘Three Years as a Union Territory: Human Rights in J&K’ – was shared by the forum for Human Rights in Jammu and Kashmir, an independent body co-chaired by former Delhi High Court Chief Justice A P Shah and former Indian Home Secretary Gopal Pillai.
The forum has retired Supreme Court Justices Ruma Pal and Madan Lokur, former Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, and Lieutenant General HS Panag (retd) among its members and covers the period from August 2021 to July 2022.
Noting that the delimitation recommended by the Justice Desai commission “violates the one-person-one-vote principle”, the report has urged” New Delhi to “restore statehood to Jammu and Kashmir as promised”.
“The election commission must announce dates for Assembly elections and hold them under previously demarcated constituencies,” it said. The report is in stark contrast to the Modi government’s stand on the situation in the Valley.—KMS