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Plebiscite in J&K? Delhi meet demands implementation of UN 'commitment'

Counterview Desk
A citizens’ protest, organised on October 19 at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, to protest against the 75 days of “oppression” of the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) saw over 200 activists, academics, intellectuals, prominent citizens, students, citizens from a large number of groups controversially appeared to suggest holding plebiscite in order to decide the future of the state.
In a statement endorsed at the meeting, in which several Left politicians and activists particularly made their presence felt, they not only suggested “restoration of the pre-August 5, 2019 situation with regard to Article 370 and 35A”, but also “implementation of the commitments India has made to the people of J&K and the United Nations”.
While the statement did not mention which commitment it was talking about, it may be recalled, during Pakistan foreign minister Liaquat Ali Khan's visit to Delhi for a Joint Defence Council meeting on November 26-27, 1947, India and Pakistan reached an agreement on Kashmir was reached, in which it was agreed to approach UN for holding a plebiscite.
While Mohammad Ali Jinnah back out on this, the issue was discussed in December 1947 by the Indian Cabinet in the presence of Lord Mountbatten, BR Ambedkar, Shyama Prasad Mookerjee and Baldev Singh (Defense Minister). This was followed by India referring the matter to the UN Security Council on December 31, which was considered by it on January 1, 1948.
On January 15, 1948, India and Pakistan made presentations to the UN Security Council, where India reiterated its demands in the original referral, following which the Security Council passed Resolution 47, which called for a three-step process for the resolution of the dispute: Pakistani withdrawal of its nationals, India to reduce its troops to minimum level, and arrangements for a plebiscite.
While the plebiscite was never held, Nehru is on record warning Pakistan in September 1953, following reports of a US-Pakistan alliance, that it had to choose between winning Kashmir through plebiscite and forming a military alliance with the United States.
The Delhi protest meet statement seeking “implementation of the commitments India has made to the people of J&K and the United Nations”, says a communique, forwarded to Counterview, the meeting was addressed by 30 representatives of “various organisations, intellectuals, activists, artists.”
These included Annie Raja, general secretary, National Federation of Indian Women, NFIW; Maimoona Mollah, president, All-India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA); Revati Laul, independent journalist; Naveed, a youth leader from J&K Right to Information; CPI leader D Raja, CPI(M) leader Tikendra Panwar, social activist Shabnam Hashmi, others.
The Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA), Jawaharlal Nehru Univerity, performed a play during the protest, while Gauhar Raza and Nandini recited poems. A troupe, Raag, sang protest songs. A film by Shafqat Raina was released during the protest about forced labour in Kashmir from 1990- 2003.
  In may be recalled that so far only one leader, MDMK general secretary Vaiko, who has not just sought plebiscite in Kashmir but also criticized the Congress for betraying the people of Kashmir not not holding it.

Text of the statement at the Delhi meet:

Recognising that the peoples of Jammu & Kashmir are facing a repressive onslaught, and that their lives and liberty are at risk, we, concerned citizens of India on this 75th day of the abrogation of Article 370 & 35A and lockdown of Kashmir, register our protest through poetry, songs of resistance and solidarity with the peoples of Jammu and Kashmir, at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.
We affirm that we recognise the peoples of Jammu & Kashmir as the most important stakeholders of their lives and land.
Consequently, we demand, immediately, that:
1. No steps about the future of Jammu & Kashmir are taken without the consent of the peoples of Jammu & Kashmir. This implies the following:
  • Restoration of the pre-August 5, 2019 situation with regard to Article 370 and 35A and implementation of the commitments India has made to the people of J&K and the United Nations.
  • The reversal of the bifurcation of the territory, as well as a reversal of its downgrading to the status of a ‘Union Territory’ 
2. We demand an immediate scaling back of the troops (armed forces and paramilitaries) deployed in Jammu & Kashmir. Specifically, we call for the withdrawal of CRPF, BSF, ITBP and Indian Army troops deployed in all civilian areas. We call for the dismantling of interrogation centres, which we know are torture cells, and demand the immediate end to the practice of detaining people for any length of time in military and paramilitary camps.
3. We demand to end intimidation and harassment of children and their parents, by police, paramilitary and military personnel. We demand an immediate end to the practice of forcing children to report to police stations, and security barracks. We recognise that the detention of children is being used as an excuse for extortion, and demand immediate action against those in the armed forces, police and paramilitary personnel indulging in this illegal practice.
4. We demand an end to the illegal practice of torture (physical as well as psychological) being committed under the cover of ‘interrogation’ by the armed forces. We demand an end to the usage of pellet guns and tear gas, and the destruction of property by all armed forces personnel.
5. We demand an immediate restoration of communication infrastructure, all forms of mobile telephony (not just the token restoration of Post Paid connections) and the internet. We demand an end to censorship and restriction on the freedom of the press. We call for an end to the harassment and intimidation of journalists, doctors, lawyers and human rights activists.
6. We call for an immediate lifting of restrictions on civil society, and demand the immediate and unconditional release of all detenus, and demand that no further arrests be made. We demand a repeal of draconian measures like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Safety Act.
7. We appeal to the Supreme Court of India to cease delaying the application of its judicial power to intervene, especially in Habeas Corpus and Preventive Detention Matters.
8. We appeal to the Supreme Court of India to deal with a sense of urgency and seriousness with the several petitions that address the constitutional crisis occasioned by the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A.
We appeal to all sections of society, political parties, trade unions, student organizations and individuals to stand with Kashmiris, especially young people and students from Jammu & Kashmir who are in workplaces, neighbourhoods and educational institutions everywhere in India.
We express our solidarity with the peoples of Jammu & Kashmir, and wish to assure them that we stand by them in the quest for justice, freedom and peace.
Finally, we assert our categorical opposition to the attempts being made in both India and Pakistan to stoke war-hysteria. Kashmir must not be made an excuse for another subcontinental war. We call for an immediate end to it war-mongering and the initiation of dialogue involving India, Pakistan and the peoples of Jammu & Kashmir with a view to the establishment of a lasting peace in South Asia.

Comments

inaturalscience said…
Same Vivekananda wrote thay caste is not determined on the basis of birth. This article quotes out of context as a part of a well planned agenda?
Editor said…
There is no reference to Vivekananda in this article

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