Justice has lost its meaning in Jammu and Kashmir: Mehbooba Mufti

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The President of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mehbooba Mufti, has said that justice has lost its meaning in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of the special status of the territory on August 05, 2019.

Mehbooba Mufti in an article published by the news portal The Wire wrote that since 05 August, 2019, every institution meant to uphold and safeguard the rights of Kashmiri people has been subverted with impunity in Kashmir.

“Kashmir has hosted a considerable number of delegations since it was stripped of its special status. Its locals reduced to mute spectators, they are given little choice but to comply with severe restrictions to ensure the visitors probing the valley for ‘signs of normalcy’ get what they came for, the PDP chief wrote.

Mehbooba Mufti wrote that as a 200-member group headed by the chief justice of India and comprising eminent judges reached Srinagar last week, she wondered: With their sharp minds that observe things for what they truly are, would they be able to look through the façade of normalcy on a curated tour?

She said, last month, when a G20 diplomat was interviewed in Srinagar while visiting Polo View, he noted, somewhat mischievously, that the streets had been swept clean – of people too. She said that like him, she was sure that these eminent judges – no strangers to the plight of millions who’ve had to knock on the doors of the judiciary over the years for justice – will not have allowed the administration to pull wool over their eyes.

The PDP President maintained that in Jammu and Kashmir today, the administration does not even pretend to respect the judicial process. Not even a semblance of a functional justice system exists – that too has been undermined in the name of security and so-called national interest, she pointed out. She said that even Justice Chandrachud publicly mentioned the unending number of cases pending before courts in IIOJK for granting bail to under-trials because denial of bail is the norm in Kashmir. she said even in cases where bail is finally granted after a criminally long process, the investigative agencies rush to book the accused under new cases on flimsy grounds invoking draconian anti terror laws. She cited the cases of journalist Fahad Shah, who dared to shed a light on the ground realities unfolding in Kashmir, and PDP youth president Waheed Para, who was booked by India’s National Investigation Agency under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Despite getting bail in a strong court order, Parra was re-arrested.

Mehbooba Mufti wrote that in spite of the Indian government’s hollow claims about establishing normalcy in Kashmir, thousands of young Kashmiri under-trials are languishing in jails of IIOJK and India. she said the majority of these prisoners belong to poor families who lack the resources to visit them even once, let alone fight long drawn, expensive legal battles.

She maintained that since the August 05, 2019 move, every institution meant to uphold and safeguard the Kashmiris’ rights has been subverted with impunity in Kashmir. Whether it was Indian parliament, the mainstream pliable media or the executive – each one hasn’t just failed us, rather they have played the role of the devil in disempowering Kashmiris to fulfill their own agenda, she added.

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