ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Draconian Ordinance by J&K

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The Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) condemns the promulgation of the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Public Property (Prevention of Damage) (Amendment) Ordinance by N N Vohra, the Governor of J&K on 26 October 2017. This ordinance criminalises anyone calling for a protest or demonstration, which leads to the damage of public property, with an imprisonment of two to five years and a fine as high as the market value of the property damaged. The speed with which the state police have acted to give effect to this ordinance is worrisome as already a first information report has been registered on 23 November 2017 against “unknown persons” for damaging public property (tree guards) in Parimpora, Srinagar.

This new ordinance has to be seen against the backdrop of the continuous militarisation and oppression of people in the valley by the Indian armed forces. Kashmir has been witnessing an internal armed conflict since its accession to India and the brutality of the same has been heightened with the killing of Burhan Wani in 2016. The onslaught on people with lethal weapons, including pellet guns, which maim people for life, has been the strategy employed by the state to curb opposition to their occupation. It is to be noted that people in conflict zones already have limited power in their hands to hold the state liable for their wrongs, and peaceful demonstrations remain one of the ways to show solidarity and angst against the government’s measures and policies.

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Updated On : 8th Dec, 2017

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