‘Tools of suppression must go so that no one can use them against people in future’
Srinagar, Feb 1: National Conference on Friday said that party Vice President Omar Abdullah’s announcement to revoke Public Safety Act (PSA) within days after party is elected to power is a continuation of his efforts to do away with the unjust and draconian laws in the state.
In a statement, Chief Spokesperson Syed Aga Ruhullah Mehdi said, “In his last tenure as CM, Omar Abdullah amended PSA which redefined the age and scope of the Act’s jurisdiction viz-a-viz minors, reduced the period of incarceration from one year to three months and also reduced the incarceration period in cases related to the State’s security and law and order from two years to six months. The J&K Public Safety Ordinance 2011 maintained that no resident of J&K detained under the PSA could be shifted to a jail outside the State. It’s now time PSA must go, lock, stock and barrel. Why oppose it?”
“The recent amendment in PSA by Governor Administration, lodging detainees in jails outside Kashmir is atrocious. Scrapping PSA will ensure that manipulations of such laws and making them more draconian ends forever,” he said.
Taking a dig at those who are criticizing NC Vice president for his views on PSA, Ruhullah said, “Those who oppose scrapping of PSA today are the same set of people who opposed Omar Abdullah’s efforts on partial revocation of AFPA in 2013. They used all means and their resources to upset AFSPA revocation move,” adding, “Perhaps Kashmir would have been saved from the mayhem in last four years If they had supported the revocation of AFSPA. It would have helped everyone. But opposing for the sake opposition seems to be only political agenda of certain political forces who thrive on miseries of people.”
“Such harsh laws only effect common people. Leaders and parties who oppose any move to do away with these laws reflects their mindset and also let us know where loyalties of these people lie,” he said.
Asking for the restoration of rule of law and efforts at scrapping draconian provisions the NC chief Spokesperson said, “Scrapping PSA should have been a common cause. We must rise above politics and seek an end to the laws which are contrary to constitutional safeguards of right to life and dignity. Doesn’t people of the state deserve the right to live without fear and harsh laws which are outside judicial preview?”
“Isn’t 30 years of death and destruction enough to shake our conscious and try to build an atmosphere where no innocent person loses his life and liberty?” he said.
“We don’t want to remind any party or political leader how barbaric they have been when they were in the power. It’s not long ago. No one has forgotten. People know who brought AFSPA in Kashmir which led to thousands of killings and culture of impunity. Shamefully they opposed its revocation when Omar Abdullah tried to withdraw it from some areas of the state in 2013,” he said. (KNS)