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Eminent Citizens Write to Modi, Kovind on 'Unacceptable' Situation in Kashmir

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The Wire
07th October, 2019 09:32 IST

New Delhi: A group of 284 eminent Indian citizens – including academics, journalists, political leaders and others – have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind, calling the current clampdown in Kashmir “unacceptable”.

The signatories have said the Centre’s decision to read down Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories was taking without consulting locals, “and we still do not know how the people of Jammu and Kashmir feel”.

They also quoted a recent Kerala high court decision which said that the right to internet is a fundamental right, and said that internet services must be restored in the Valley on humanitarian grounds.

The full text of their petition and the list of signatories is below.

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The people of the Kashmir valley and parts of Jammu have been under a security, political and communications lockdown since August 5, 2019. Thousands of troops man the entrances and exits to their homes, schools and universities. Hundreds of political leaders, including former Chief Ministers and legislators are under ‘preventive detention’. Mobile phones are blocked and internet snapped. Businesses have lost thousands of crores.

At the same time, our government has removed Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and divided the state into two Union Territories. Both steps were taken without consultation with the people of the former state or their elected leaders. It has been 68* days since the lockdown and we still do not know how the people of Jammu and Kashmir feel. We are unable even to speak to our friends and relatives in the valley.

Also read: Home Ministry Believes in Internet Ban, Mass Detention But Not in Paperwork

On humanitarian grounds, we find this situation unacceptable. The government should restore mobile and internet connections, which were declared a fundamental right just recently by the Kerala High Court.

On democratic grounds, too, we find this situation unacceptable. If the government can take away freedom of expression and the right to debate legislation that affects their lives in Jammu and Kashmir, what prevents them from doing so across the country?

It is not too late to roll-back the lockdown, hold legislative assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and let the people decide on Article 370 and statehood. We appeal to the government to do so.

Also read: ‘Graves Don’t Lie’: Srinagar Family Rubbishes Govt Report Denying Their Son’s Death

*When the petition was first started the count was 52 days. This figure has been updated to the date of sending the petition.

Signed:

  • Ammu Abraham Mumbai, India
  • Rekha Achuthan Hyderabad, India
  • Anivek Abrol Chandigarh, India
  • Leela Acharya Toronto, Canada
  • Faisal Adil Tucson, Arizona, US
  • Imtiaz Ahmad New Delhi, India
  • Swaminathan Aiyar New Delhi, India
  • Mani Shankar Aiyar, Delhi, India
  • Jamila Akhter North Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Shabnam Ali Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Shuaib Amin India
  • Arvinder Ansari India
  • MM Ansari India
  • Andrew Late.T. Arulappan Chennai, India
  • Vidya Das Arora, India
  • Minoo Awari Kodaikanl, India
  • Zarreen Babu Kodaikanal, India
  • Vijay Badami New Delhi, India
  • Nandita Baig India
  • Niloufer B Mumbai, India
  • Zarine Bath Delhi, India
  • Ishanjli Barla India
  • Zuhaib Bashir Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Champak Basu Kolkota, India
  • Poonam Batra India
  • Eijaz Bazaz India
  • Selena Bedi Kapurthala, India
  • Sharad Behar Bhopal, India
  • Madhu Bhaduri Bangalore, India
  • Prabha Bhalla Kolkata, India
  • Gulzar Bhat India
  • Shahnawaz Bhat Mumbai, India
  • Indra Bhatia India
  • Saumyajit Bhattacharya Delhi, India
  • Raju Bhosale Vadodara, India
  • Neera Burra India
  • Rani Day Burra India
  • Sundar Burra India
  • Pankaj Butalia Delhi, India
  • June Carvalho Bangalore, India
  • Suhas Chakma Delhi, India
  • Ramesh Chand New Delhi, India
  • Satish Chand India
  • Sara Chanda Delhi, India
  • Paul Chandhok Albuquerque, India
  • Neera Chandoke Delhi India
  • Anjana Chandra Singapore
  • Anupama Chandra Delhi, India
  • Feroze Chandra Mumbai, India
  • Prabha Chandran Delhi, India
  • Partha Chatterjee New York, US
  • Kalyani Chaudhuri India
  • John Cherian Delhi, India
  • Subramoni Chidambar India
  • Subhash Chopra Harrow, UK
  • Mona Das Delhi, India
  • Shiwani Das Bharu, India
  • SK Das India
  • Sreela Das India
  • Surjit Das India
  • Vibha Puri Das India
  • Vidya Das Arora India
  • Arundhati Datta India
  • Pradeep Deb Jaipur, India
  • Devasahayam MG Kanyakumari, India
  • Antara Dev Sen India
  • Jasmine Dellal Ambur, India
  • Anita Dighe Noida, India
  • Shephali Dighe Surat, India
  • A Sunil Dharan India
  • Susan Dhavle Pune, India
  • Roopa Dhawan New Delhi, India
  • Vijaylakshmi Dikshit Gurgaon, India
  • Rosemary Dzuvichu Kohima, India
  • Achla Eccles New York, US
  • Zea Fareed Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Tanweer Fazal New Delhi, India
  • Sumit Ganguly Bloomington, Indiana, US
  • Mridu Garg Delhi, India
  • Dolly George Kodaikanal, India
  • Lathika George, India
  • Sagarika Ghose Delhi India
  • Jayati Ghosh New Delhi, India
  • Monica Ghosh India
  • Astri Ghosh India
  • Gulab Grewal Ludhiana, India
  • Seema Guha Gurgaon, India
  • Supriya Guha Biel-Benken, Switzerland
  • Meena Gupta Hyderabad, India
  • Zoya Hasan India
  • Roomana Hukil Hamilton, Canada
  • Ayesha Iyer Bangalore, India
  • Suhasini Iyer Delhi, India
  • Swaminathan Kalidas Iyer Goa, India
  • Serena Jacob Singapore
  • Devaki Jain Hyderabad, India
  • Nikhita Jain Greenvale, India
  • Priya Jain New Delhi, India
  • Rajesh Jain Ludhiana, India
  • Leela James Gurgaon, India
  • Kanchana Jayachandran Udupi, India
  • Prem Shankar Jha India
  • Radhika Jha Athens, Greece
  • Jha Rajiv India
  • Rishi Jha Delhi, India
  • Seema Jha Hyderabad, India
  • Vineet Johnson Sudbury, Canada
  • Bhupendra Joshi Delhi, India
  • Bascal Leo Joseph India
  • Kamalnayan Kabra Gurgaon, India
  • Kiran Kairab Ashburn, Virginia, US
  • Kavas Kapadia New Delhi, India
  • Kapil Kak Noida, India
  • Nayana Kathpalia Mumbai, India
  • Anita Katyal New Delhi, India
  • Jaspreet Kaur Delhi, India
  • Manleen Kaur India
  • Rupinder Kaur India
  • Mahnoor Yar Khan Hyderabad, India
  • Navi Khan India
  • Nyla Khan Edmond, Oklahoma, US
  • Rasika Khanna, New Haven, Connecticut, US
  • Swarn Anand Khanna, India
  • Snowber Khan Mumbai, India
  • Alpana Kishore London, UK
  • Beulah Kolhatkar Chennai, India
  • Anuradha Krishnamurthy Mumbai, India
  • Lakshmi Krishnamurty Bangalore, India
  • Bala Krishnan India
  • Viswanathan Krishnan Tennessee, US
  • Joginder Kular Ludhiana, India
  • Arun Kumar Balaramapuram, India
  • Avinash Kumar New Delhi, India
  • Jayashree Kumar Kodaikanal, India
  • Radha Kumar India
  • Sasi Kumar Trivandrum, India
  • Tulika Kumari Delhi, India
  • Karoki Lewis, UK
  • Primila Lewis Oxford, UK
  • Swapna Liddle Delhi, India
  • Sankar Lingam India
  • Himani Madan Shimla, India
  • Sasha Madan Simla, India
  • Tahir Ahmad Magray Dammam, Saudi Arabia
  • Joe Gouri Shankar Mahendra Chennai, India
  • Nayeema Mahjoor Sutton, England, UK
  • Rajesh Malhotra Gurgaon, India
  • Nitin Malik Delhi, India
  • Preet Malik India
  • Subhash Malik New Delhi, India
  • George Mathew India
  • Ajay K. Mehra Noida, India
  • Arjun Mehta Delhi, India
  • Ashok Mehta Noida, UP
  • Avanti Mehta Mumbai, India
  • Janet Mendonca Kuwait
  • Nivedita Menon Delhi, India
  • Naaz Mir Delhi, India
  • Mir Dafiq Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Nivedita Mishra Noida, India
  • Renuka Mishra Delhi, India
  • Shubranshu Mishra Cornwall, UK
  • Udayon Misra India
  • Pramod Mital India
  • Devendra Mohan India
  • Jyoti Motihar Delhi, India
  • Aditya Mukherjee Delhi, India
  • Nita Mukherjee India
  • Srila Mookherjee Kolkata, India
  • Rekha Murty Mumbai, India
  • Sachin N New Delhi, India
  • Karthika Nair France
  • Rajasree Nair New Delhi, India
  • Nalini Nayak New Delhi, India
  • Ranganath Nayak Belmont, Massachusetts, US
  • Mudasir Noor u din Delhi, India
  • Amitabha Pande Noida, India
  • Shradha Parashari New Delhi, India
  • Gulzar Ahmad Parry Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
  • Arif Pasha Bangalore, India
  • Sujata Patel Shimla, India
  • Vince Patram Morristown, New Jersey, US
  • Lynda Paul Pune, India
  • Gopal Pillai India
  • Sonali Pinheiro Kuwait, Kuwait
  • Subbarao Prabhala India
  • Anita Prabhu New Castle, Pennsylvania, US
  • Lavanya Raghavan Montclair, New Jersey, US
  • Sujata Raghavan New Delhi, India
  • Alok Rai Allahabad, India
  • Anil Rai New Delhi, India
  • Badri Raina Delhi, India
  • Rajagopal K Trivandrum, India
  • Aruna Rajkumar India
  • Akhileshwari Ramagoud Hyderabad, India
  • Rajesh Ramakrishnan Chennai, India
  • Vasanthi Raman India
  • Goda Ramana Visakhapatnam, India
  • Lalita Ramdas Alibag/Secunderabad, India
  • Vani Ramkumar Shimoga, India
  • Maya Rao Delhi, India
  • Mohan Rao Bangalore, India
  • M Y Rao Trivandrum, India
  • Komal Rashid Lorton, Virginia, US
  • Zeba Rashid India
  • N Ravi Hyderabad, India
  • Amit Rawat Pune, India
  • Vibhor Relhan Delhi, India
  • Jaya Retnakumar India
  • Aditya Roy India
  • Supriya Roychoudhury India
  • Jehangir Rustomji India
  • Anand Sahay New Delhi, India
  • Mimansa Sahay New Delhi, India
  • Sushila Sahay India
  • Varun Sahni Pune, India
  • Jane Samuel Allahabad, India
  • Kim Samuel Salem, India
  • Vijai Sankar Chennai, India 2019-09-28
  • K Satchidanandan Delhi, India
  • Ratna Sarawgi Kolkata, India
  • Vetri Selvan Singapore
  • Aatreyee Sen Dharamsala, India
  • Rajat Sen India
  • Debjani Sengupta Delhi, India
  • Sushmita Sengupta India
  • Minoopriya Senthilkumar India
  • Manisha Sethi New Delhi India
  • Shah Aamir Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Abid Shah Ghaziabad, India
  • Amit Shah Somerville, Massachusetts, US
  • N D Sharma Bhopal, India
  • Nidhi Sharma Delhi, India
  • Natasha Sharma El Paso, Texas, US
  • Prateeksha Sharma Delhi, India
  • Shamim Sherwani India
  • Deepak Shukla India
  • Sonia Shukla Delhi India
  • Angad Singh P India
  • Charan Singh Granada hills, California, US
  • Geetbani Singh India
  • Kanishka Singh India
  • Tanya Singh Delhi, India
  • Updesh Singh Reading, England, UK
  • Rekha Sinha Mumbai, India
  • Manali Bhandare Singhal India
  • Nusrat Sohail East Brunswick, New Jersey, US
  • N Sriram Bangalore, India
  • Antony Stephen Coimbatore, India
  • K R Subash India
  • Arun Subramanium Bangalore, India
  • Jeanne Subramaniam Bangalore, India
  • Kadayam Subramanian New Delhi, India
  • Aparna Sundar Toronto, Canada
  • Nandini Sundar Delhi, India
  • Lawrence Surendra Bangalore, Delhi
  • Aarti Susan Delhi, India
  • Manzoor Ahmad Tak India
  • Brij Tankha India
  • Kamini Tankha Delhi, India
  • Ravni Thakur Delhi, India
  • Catherine Thankamma Cochin, India
  • Sheela Thomas India
  • Sunder Thomas Bangalore, India
  • Shom Tiwari Elizabeth City, North Carolina, US
  • Adil Tyabji India
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  • Khalid Tyabji New Delhi, India
  • Jesus Ubald Chennai, India
  • Ullekh NP New Delhi, India
  • Vineet Vashishtha India
  • Vinita Varghese Kuwait
  • Samera Vaseer Edmond, Oklahoma, US
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  • Shashank Vira London, England, UK
  • Sudhakar Vira India
  • Swati Vira Gurgaon, India
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  • Mudassir Wani Dammam, Saudi Arabia
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