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Abrogating Article 370 without consulting Kashmiris would alienate people: Amnesty

By Our Representative
Terming it a "unilateral decision", top international NGO Amnesty has said that the Government of India decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) "without consulting J&K stakeholders and amidst a complete clampdown on civil liberties and communications blackout is likely to inflame prevailing tensions."
Insisting that it would "alienate the people in the state and increase the risk of further human rights violations", Aakar Patel, head, Amnesty International India, said, “What J&K has been witnessing over the last few days – the additional deployment of thousands of security forces, a blanket blockade of telephone and internet services, restrictions on peaceful assembly – has already pushed the people of J&K to the edge."
Amnesty said, The revocation of Article 370 is expected to cause unrest and wide scale protests in the state", adding, this is clear from "the government’s response to dealing with protests in the state has been heavy-handed and have led to gross human rights violations such as blinding, killing and traumatizing people over the past few years."
Poimnting out that "while the authorities have the right to maintain public order, they must respect the right of the people to protest peacefully", Amnesty said, "Blanket and indefinite suspensions of telecommunications services in J&K are also not in line with international human rights standards. These shutdowns affect the ability of people in Kashmir to seek, receive, and impart information, an integral part of the right to freedom of expression."

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