People of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday expressed their angst against the Narendra Modi govenrment's decision to scrap part of Article 370 of the Constitution that gives a special status to the state, saying the move has sntached their identity from them.
“We are shocked by the decision and it left us disappointed because our sentiments were attached with this Article... Its scrapping means that the state will lose its Muslim-majority character,” news agency PTI quoted 50-year-old Farooq Ahmad Shah, a resident of Srinagar, as saying.
He said that while mainstream parties of Kashmir rendered Article 370 a mere skeleton but scrapping it will provoke the people to vent their anger.
One Arshid Warsi, a man in his 20s from the Valley who was visiting Jammu, said that revoking Article 370 doesn't mean people can't express their resentment. "How long they will keep us under house arrest?" he asked.
A school teacher, who asked the agency not to reveal his identity, blamed mainstream political parties of Kashmir such as PDP and National Confernce for the "current crisis".
“Today we feel we have lost our identity and it is very unfortunate that the government has taken a decision which is going to create more resentment among the masses rather than bringing peace,” she said.
Jaleel Ahmad Bhat, a local Kashmiri businessman said that they don't know how the situation will develop after the curfew-like restrictions are withdrawn and felt that the state may be heading towards the worst of times. Bhat also expressed his concerns over the snapping of communication channels as the mvoe left him totaly disconnected from his children.
"My two children are studying outside the state and there is no contact with them. I know they will be worried about the situation here and I also don’t know how they are doing," Bhat, who was also in Jammu, said.
Fatima Bano, a middle-aged entrepreneur, said she has been praying for normalcy ever since she came to know about the government’s decision to revoke Article 370.
“Will revoking Article 370 end decades-long unrest in Kashmir? I don’t believe in this theory,” she said, asserting that Article 370 or Article 35A was no hinderance for the return of Kashmiri migrant Pandits to their homes as they have been natives of the Valley for centuries," she said.
Fayaz Ahmad Dar, who was returning from Delhi after shopping for his sister’s wedding, said the developments in the Valley have left him heartbroken.
"My younger sister is getting married on August 13 and we have made all necessary arrangements. I don’t know whether the marriage will take place or not given the sudden developments over the past few weeks," he said.
The Narendra Modi government on Monday scrapped part of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that gives special status of Jammu and Kashmir and also proposed bifurcation of the state into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
The move to scrap part of the contentious Constitution came after midnight clampdown and house arrest of local politicans, including former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah. Massive security deployment was also made with prohibitory orders imposed across the state before the announcement.