London):- Kashmir Voice International (KVI) welcomes the decision of Indian Supreme Court for the review of internet restrictions imposed on more than 7 million people of Kashmir. These restrictions not only took away the communication facilities between the people for more than 5 months now, but have affected the trade and business beyond measure.
Estimated loss of 2.4 Billion Dollars is claimed to be the effect of these restrictions. The restrictions have reduced the thousands of youth unemployed. Conditions have been created to bring down Kashmiris to abject poverty and break their resolve to fight for their rights.
The Supreme Court upheld the freedom of speech, expression, trade and business on internet as fundamental rights which should be constitutionally protected. The government would however be required to give strong reasons to continue the ban. While commenting on Section 144 CRPC, the Court said that government cannot have the recourse to blanket use of the Section to prevent the legitimate expression of opinion, grievance or exercise of any democratic rights.
KVI expects both the state and central governments to take early steps to remove restrictions and bring relief to the sieged population.
KVI believes and hopes that the other petitions pending for consideration of Supreme Court would also be considered without further delay. The justice demands that the application of Indian Constitution other than the Provisions laid down in the Accession Document, that led to the continued erosion of the State Autonomy are also reviewed and revoked in order to restore the Autonomous Status of J & K as it existed before 1953.
KVI believes that the patch work will not help bring peace to Kashmir, instead the issue needs to be addressed in its historical perspective. The increased and continued application of the Indian Constitution on the state with the intention of strengthening the integration with the union has created mistrust and alienated Kashmiris. The action of August 5th 2019 has taken away whatever was left with the state hurting the people and reinforcing the alienation. The chances of peace in Kashmir are remote till the basic issue is addressed and an acceptable solution explored reflecting the aspiration of the people.