Any assault on J&Kโ€™s special status will re-open the question of accession

Amendment in PSA Act unacceptable, Governor should reconsider: NC
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Srinagar: National Conference on Tuesday expressed strong resentment against the decision of the State Administrative Council (SAC) to delete a provision in the Public Safety Act (PSA) that barred authorities from lodging J&K residents in jails outside the State.

According to a press statement issued here, while addressing a special meeting with party leaders and legislators from Srinagar, NC General Secretary Haji Ali Muhammad Sagar said this decision would send incarcerated under-trials away from their families and would further add to the sense of isolation when all efforts should be made to build bridges of reconciliation with the people.

โ€œThis is an unfortunate and unacceptable decision that National Conference opposes unequivocally and unambiguously. We appeal to the Honourable Governor to reconsider this decision of the SAC. The previous Omar Abdullah led government in 2011 made specific amendments to the Public Safety Act (PSA) which redefined the age and scope of the Actโ€™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 Stateโ€™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 Stateโ€, the NC General Secretary said.

The NC General Secretary said the SAC should repeal the decision and restore the provision in the Act at the earliest possible instance. The meeting was attended by NC General Secretary Haji Ali Muhammad Sagar, Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, Senior Leaders Mubarak Gul, Shamima Firdous, Muhammad Sayeed Akhoon, Irfan Ahmed Shah and Peer Muhammad Afaq.

Addressing the meeting NC Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani said that the Central Government and the powers that be should realise that abrogation and repeal of Article 370 and Article 35-A of the Constitution of India would re-open the question of the Stateโ€™s accession to the Union of India and invalidate the constitutional bridge that connects the State to the rest of the country, the statement added.

โ€œAfter Maharaja Hari Singhโ€™s conditional accession to the Union of India, the representatives of J&K and the central leadership of the country negotiated the terms and conditions of the Stateโ€™s accession and also defined the scope and nature of its relationship with the Centre. These negotiations resulted in constitutional safeguards in Constitution of India through the Constituent Assembly of the Union โ€“ as also validated by the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir. The 1952 Delhi Agreement โ€“ which is a sovereign agreement โ€“ defines the scope and nature of Centre-State relations with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Any attempts to violate these sovereign promises and agreements by assaulting the constitutional safeguards will invalidate the Stateโ€™s accession to the Unionโ€, the NC Provincial President said.

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