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J&K assembly polls, restoration democratic rights sought before block-level elections

By Our Representative
A group of political and social activists led by Magsaysay Award winning scholar-activist Sandeep Pandey has passed a resolution demanding immediately restoration all communication channels in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), even as insisting, block-level elections in J&K declared by the Government of India should be preceded by assembly elections or may be held simultaneously with consultation with political parties and people.
"It is not the job of Central government to hold block-level elections. Panchayat and local governance are state subjects and indicators of democratic maturity", said the resolution, which consisted of concern on several national issues, passed following a well-attended seminar in Hyderabad.
The signatories included Justice (retd) Chandra Kumar, President, Telangana Prajala Party; Syed Inamur Rahman of the Society for Promotion of Tolerance; PJ Suri of the Janata Dal (S); Danny, convenor, Muslim Thinkers' Forum; Prof Anwar Khan, All-India Ideal Teachers' Association, and others.
The resolution said, the Centre was holding negotiations with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), agreeing for a framework agreement which calls for 'shared sovereignty' and 'peaceful coexistence between two entities namely Government of India and Nagaland', allowing Nagaland to follow its own Constitution and fly its own flag. It wonders, why this couldn't happen with political parties and people of J&K.
Sandeep Pandey
The seminar decided to begin a post-card campaign asking the Chief Justice of India and the Prime minister to restore democratic rights to the people J&K and list all restrictions. It also appealed to the Supreme Court to hear petitions on J&K on the abrogation of Article 370, removing the special status of J&K on August 5, on an urgent basis.
Also expressing concern over the brutal killing of two innocent children aged 12 and 10, when they were answering their nature calls in Bhavkhedi village in Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh, the resolution sought apology to the Valmiki community from the state government, insisting, the government should provide job with residence to the families of the two children, and land to their fathers.
At the same time, the resolution said, the Government of India and the Government of Madhya Pradesh should conduct audit of toilets under Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, whether if toilets have flush/waste handling facility, water facility and pit handling facility. In this case, while one Valmiki family's toilet was "dumped", while another Valmiki family didn't have toilet. It sought immediate arrest of the killers and prompt trial and judgement, even as paying "due compensation" to victims' families.

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