A delegation of opposition National Conference on Tuesday met Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra and sought his intervention in safeguarding the rights of people in the Valley against “harassment and mass repression” under the garb of law and order measures.
The 11-member delegation led by former minister Sakina Ittoo apprised the Governor about “unprecedented mass arrests, slapping of Public Safety Acts, destruction of paddy harvest, nocturnal raids and large scale harassment of civilians across the Valley.”
The delegation also briefed Vohra about the arbitrary closure of Jawahar tunnel along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway during night hours and demanded that it should be kept open 24 hours every day, a party statement said.
“An atmosphere of fear and repression has been created in south, north and central Kashmir. Apart from the terrifying and frequent nocturnal raids, a new and inhuman way of punishing people has been initiated which includes targeted burning of paddy crops. This is being done on a daily basis,” Ittoo said.
Normal life remains affected in Kashmir due to the separatist-sponsored strike. As many as 83 persons, including two cops, have been killed and thousands others injured in clashes between protestors and security forces since unrest began in the state, a day after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8.
Ittoo claimed that around 8,000 people have been arrested in the state, out of which 800 have been slapped with the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).
The delegation included MLAs Altaf Ahmad Wani and Abdul Majeed Bhat, MLCs Showkat Ahmad Ganie, B A Veeri, Ali Mohammad Dar and Qaiser Jamsheed Lone, former ministers Mir Saifullah and Javid Ahmad Dar, vice president youth National Conference Imran Nabi Dar and district president Peer Aafaq Ahmad.
The senior NC Leaders also highlighted other problems faced by the people in different parts of the Valley, including the “arbitrary” announcement for conducting board exams without taking the ground situation into account, the statement said.
“When not even 40 per cent syllabus has been covered in schools, the government in order to portray a perception of normalcy wants to inflict the students with an unrealistic and unfair challenge that would seriously affect their future,” it said.
A Raj Bhavan spokesman said the delegation apprised the Governor about demanding conspicuous presence of responsible government functionaries to handle the situation in the rural areas.
He added that the NC members also complained about losses to fruit growers due to the daily closure of Jawahar Tunnel and the severe traffic jams on the Highway.