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Kashmir: Gujarat civil society appeals to apex court for 'constitutional propriety'

Movement for Secular Democracy meeting in Ahmedabad
By Our Representative
Gujarat’s 22 civil rights activists, in a letter to the Chief Justice of India, protesting against the three-week-long clampdown in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), have said this has create an undeclared state of emergency in Kashmir.  The decision to write the letter was taken following a recent meeting of the Movement for Secular Democracy in Ahmedabad.
Claiming that about 4,000 persons have been arrested amidsgt a huge military presence – there is one military man for almost five civilians – the letter says, this is alarming because, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), endangers “sexual violence against women” and “violation of human rights” in J&K.
Protesting against the “continuing restrictions on phones and internet, disrupting publications of newspapers and curbing the freedom of press as a form of collective punishment”, the letter says, this has crippled the daily life and economic activity of Kashmir.
“Appalled” by the way in which “in one stroke” Parliament abrogated Article 370 and 35A, the letter says, the move to “integrate” J&K “was introduced ignoring parliamentary practice and decorum”.
Hoping that the Supreme Court, which will be examining the petitions filed against the Government of India move, would see things in the context of constitutional propriety, the letter says, the apex courd should give “directives to comply with due democratic process to restore Article 370 and 35A, and for the emotional integration of the people of J&K with India.”
Signatories to the letter include Prakash N Shah,president, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Gujarat; Dwarika Nath Rath, secretary, Movement for Secular Democracy; Manishi Jani of the Gujarati Lekhak Mandal; educationist Fr Francis Parmar; academic Dr Jharna Pathak; human rights activist Fr Cedric Prakash; the ex-professor, MS University, Vadodara, Dr JS Bandukwala.

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