Restore internet services and end detentions in J&K, urges US lawmaker

Kashmir, Article 370, Article 35A, Kashmiri Overseas Association

The US House of Representatives on Friday asked India to end the communication blockade and mass detentions in Jammu and Kashmir that was imposed on August 5 after revoking the region’s special status.

A bipartisan resolution number 745 was introduced in the House of Representatives after several weeks of efforts by Jayapal, has only one co-sponsor — Republican Congressman Steve Watkins from Kansas, asked India to quickly remove the internet ban and release the leaders who were detained in Jammu and Kashmir following revocation of Article 370.

The Centre after revoking the special status for J&K, cut off the internet services for most of the people and detained all the main political party leaders which included former chief minister of the state.

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The resolution which will be put to vote in the house, “Urges the Government of India to lift the remaining restrictions on communication and to restore internet access across all of Jammu and Kashmir as swiftly as possible; swiftly release arbitrarily detained people in Jammu and Kashmir; refrain from conditioning the release of detained people on their willingness to sign bonds prohibiting any political activities and speeches; allow international human rights observers and journalists to access Jammu and Kashmir and operate freely throughout India, without threats, and condemn, at the highest levels, all religiously motivated violence, including that violence which targets against religious minorities,” NDTV quoted as saying.

However, the US House of Representatives said it, “recognises the dire security challenges faced by the Government and India in Jammu and Kashmir and the continuing threat of state-supported cross-border terrorism”, which India has been battling for decades.

According to reports, this is the second resolution on Kashmir introduced in three weeks. Indian-Americans held peaceful demonstrations outside the lawmaker’s office against her move to table the resolution on Kashmir.

However, India has denied these allegations. India maintains that the abrogation of Article 370 was its internal matter. It asserts that the governments move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir will bring ever-lasting peace in the region.

(With inputs from agencies)

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