Centre has destroyed economy, tourism in J&K: Azad

Jammu

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Ghulam Nabi Azad said today that the BJP-led Government at the Centre has completely destroyed business, economy, transport and entire trade of Jammu and Kashmir and demolished the claims of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah that everything was normal and peaceful in the Union Territory, Daily Excelsior reported.

In an interview given to a web portal, Azad said Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions (erstwhile) were popular in the entire country and they have been just rendered to a Union Territory.

He said the political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir including former Ministers have been detained in the MLAs hostel where there was no electricity, water and heating arrangements in the extreme winter.

“These political leaders were being treated like animals,” he alleged.

Azad said entire business, trade, transport and tourism of Jammu and Kashmir have been destroyed by the Central Government. He added that the loving people of Jammu and Kashmir have been finished economically and emotionally.

“The State has been divided. There is a Lieutenant Governor now. Everything-be it tourism, politics and trade-have finished. Dr Farooq Abdullah and two other former Chief Ministers are in jails. The fourth former Chief Minister had to take the Supreme Court permission to visit Jammu and Kashmir,” Daily Excelsior quoted Azad as having said.

Notwithstanding this, Azad said, the Home Minister has claimed that peace has been restored in Kashmir. The fact is that people have lost all hopes, he added.

“They (the Prime Minister and the Home Minister) say there have been no protests in Kashmir. The people have stopped protesting as they (a reference towards the Home Minister) have no hearts. They don’t know that they have destroyed education and business of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

“The Prime Minister and the Home Minister say everything is alright in Jammu and Kashmir. This is just like sprinkling salt on wounds of the people,” Azad said.

He said though the Government has put the number of arrested persons at 650, the reports were that 8,000 to 10,000 people have been detained. Everyone who has raised his voice has been detained, he added.

Responding to a question of the reporter as to what will be the impact of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Kashmir, Azad said there will be no impact of any issue in Kashmir as the Prime Minister and the Home Minister have completely finished Jammu and Kashmir.

The former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir said even if the people raise their voice, who will know as there is no Internet, no SMS etc.

“`Jobs of the youth have been taken away. Their land rights have been snatched. Anyone can take land in Jammu and Kashmir now. Even if there will be 1000 jobs, the youth of J&K will get very few as youth of entire country can now apply for the jobs,” he said.

Azad denied that the Congress was instigating protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act or that only the Muslims were protesting against it.

He said several protests have taken place in the States where the BJP or their allies were in power. The protests have taken place in IITs and IIMs where strength of Muslim students is hardly one percent. Protests have also been reported from the Overseas Universities, he remarked.

Azad said out of five youth killed in Assam violence against the Citizenship Amendment Act, only one was Muslim and four were Hindus. Similarly, he added, out of 24 injured students, 16 were Hindus.

“Secular people of the country were protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act,” Daily Excelsior quoted Azad as saying.

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