Srinagar, Sep 14 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (AP) on Monday demanded release of political prisoners, including former Chief Minister (CM) Mehbooba Mufti and package for revival of businesses and regularisation of daily rated and casual workers. A spokesman for the AP said in a statement here Monday afternoon said that party vice president Ghulam Hassan Mir today called on Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and discussed various issues of public concern.
During the meeting Mir reiterated AP’s demand for release of all political prisoners including Mehbooba . The former minister pleaded that all political workers who are still under preventive custody and have been lodged outside J&K should be immediately shifted to J&K and released subsequently.
Large number of political leaders and workers, including three former CM—Mehbooba, Dr Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah—were arrested on August 5 when centre abrogated Article 370 and 35 A besides divided the erstwhile state into two Union Territories (UTs). However, Dr Abdullah and Omar besides major of other leaders and workers were released.
Mir stressed on a need for formulation of a compassionate policy regarding detainees jailed under PSA. “All the political parties must be given a level playing field and this can be a big confidence building measure,” he urged the Lt. Governor.
Mir also raised the issue of differential treatment with the business fraternity of J&K and demanded a separate stimulus package covering the lockdown period from August 2019 in order to revive the business activity in Jammu and Kashmir.
The AP senior vice president invited the attention of Lt Governor toward the fact that the industry and other business communities of J&K have been superficially covered for the benefits of a special package of Rs 20, 000 Crore announced by the government of India to revive the COVID shattered economy in the country.
Mir said the industrial sector, trade and commerce activities in Jammu and Kashmir have come to a grinding halt since August 5, 2019 and whatever was left in the trade and other business activity was crushed due to COVID lockdown. “Be it Tourism, Agriculture, Horticulture and Hotel industry, all the mainstay of J&K economy is under severe depression since August last year,” he added.
He appealed to the Lt Governor to intervene in order to end this discrepancy shown by the ministry of finance and ensure a separate financial stimulus package for the J&K’ stake holders keeping in view the reported loss of around Rs 30, 000 Crore since August 2019.
Mir also appraised the Lt Governor about sufferings of daily rated and casual workers who are awaiting regularization for the last over a decade in various departments of Jammu and Kashmir. He emphasized on an early redressal of their grievances related to wages and regularization at an earliest.