June 2002 News

RSS for division of J&K

30 June 2002
The Daily Excelsior

KURUKHESTRA: Echoing the VHP, the RSS today demanded division of Jammu and Kashmir and insisted that the Ayodhya issue was a ''matter of faith'' and ''beyond the powers of the court''. The RSS national executive adopted a resolution on the last day of its two-day meeting here rejecting autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir, favouring holding of forthcoming Assembly elections in the State under Presidentís rule and abrogation of Article 370. The resolution took note of the ''blatantly discriminatory attitude'' of the National Conference Government towards Jammu and Ladakh regions of the State, RSS chief spokesman M G Vaidya told a press conference. He said the ''consequent acute dissatisfaction'' among the people of Jammu and Ladakh regions had led them to demand a separate statehood for Jammu and Union Territory status for Ladakh. ''The people of Jammu think that the solution to their problems lies in the separate statehood for Jammu region,'' the resolution said, adding the RSS ''offers its support to the demand.'' The resolution said branding the demand as ''communal'' would be ''ignorance'' or ''motivated prejudice'', pointing out that the region includes the Muslim-majority districts of Poonch, Rajouri and Doda. It supported the demand for Union Territory status for Ladakh region. On the Ayodhya issue, Vaidya said the courts ''cannot do anything'' to resolve the dispute and ''it should not do'' and said RSS endorsed the VHP stand not to obey a court verdict. ''It is a matter of faith and beyond the powers of the court,'' he said. Vaidya said ''no power can make the construction of a mosque at the disputed site possible. A mosque can be built anywhere else but not at the birthplace of Lord Rama.'' He said while the issue was of ''faith'' for Hindus, it is not so for Muslims ''who want a legal solution'' to it. He said if the Government wanted to resolve the dispute, it could enact a law as was done to over-rule the Supreme Court verdict in Shah Bano case. Justifying the VHP move to withdraw its letter given to the Government containing an assurance to abide by the court verdict, Vaidya said ''the VHP had given the assurance before its March 15 programme on the condition that the Government would hand over the undisputed land to it by June two.'' ''It was not an absolute promise but a conditional assurance,'' Vaidya said, adding it was ''desirable'' that the land was given back to its ''rightful owner''. Vaidya said the issue had been lingering in the courts since 1936. ''We want a resolution within two to two-and-a-half years.'' The Supreme Court had in 1994 ruled that the undisputed land be given to its owner and said the interim order of the apex court was ''against the ''letter and spirit'' of that ruling, he said. The temple already exists at the birth place of Lord Rama in Ayodhya and it was only to be given ''Bhavya Roop'' (bigger construction), he said. To a question on mediation by the Kanchi Shankaracharya, Vaidya said he was not aware of the exact nature of the mediation but added ''we support all efforts to resolve the issue. We want a solution to it.'' Referring to the autonomy issue, he said RSS was opposed to grant of autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir and favoured abrogation of Article 370. The resolution on autonomy said ''the situation in Jammu and Kashmir has been aggravated by the slogan of autonomy.'' The RSS opposed the J and K Ressettlement Act which allows people of the State, who have migrated to Pakistan prior to 1954, to reclaim their properties here and settle down, saying it ''is yet another dangerous move towards a marked demographic change'' of the State. ''The resettlement act reflected in ample measure sinister motives of Farooq Abdullah-led Government,'' it said. There were ''saner people'' in the State who ''do not want the cover of Article 370, who are against any sort of autonomy and who want full integration with Bharat.'' The resolution said the induction of Article 370 in the Constitution was ''taken advantage of by separtatist elements'' and the Government for providing ''sanction to an independent Constitution, a different flag and different citizenship and different nomenclatures for the Chief Minister and Governor.'' Asked about fears that the division of Jammu and Kashmir would lead to partition of the country, Vaidya shot back ''if creation of Uttaranchal did not create any problems, what is the harm in carving out another state.'' Asked to comment on Governmentís rejection of the demand, he said the RSS will always put forth its point of view and ''say what we feel is right. The BJP and NDA Government may pursue its own agenda.'' The executive, chaired by RSS chief K S Sudarshan and attended by about 275 regional and divisional heads, noted with ''grave concern fast deteriorating situation'' in the State in the recent years due to separatist and terrorist activities. On the coming Assembly elections in the State, the executive said it was ''very important that every precaution and arrangement should be taken to ensure free and fair elections'' and confidence be created among people regarding the freeness and fairness of the exercise. It, however, said ''in view of the past experience, the present NC Government cannot generate confidence that it will help conduct free and fair elections.'' Vaidya said the best way was to conduct the polls under Presidentís rule ''so that those people who are hesitant to participate, join the fray''. It would help raise the number of participants and improve the poll percentage which was very less in the last elections. ''It is for the Government to decide how it creates confidence, whether by imposing Presidentís rule or appointing impartial observers with special powers,'' Vaidya said. The executive adopted a resolution, asking the Government to provide adequate relief to people of border areas who have been displaced due to Indo-Pak tension and appropriate compensation for those who have incurred losses due to deployment of troops. It also sought necessary amenities for those living in relief camps after dislocation due to the Pakistani shelling. Nearly 3,000 people uprooted from Akhnoor sector in following Kargil war are still found displaced and deserted, it said. With regard to demand by Kashmiri Pandits for a separate homeland with Union Territory status within the Valley, Vaidya said the Government should talk the community leaders to ''see where they feel secure and what are their conditions.'' ''It is for the Kashmiri Pandits to State how they want to go back, whether after creation of a homeland or autonomous region,'' he said. The executive expressed ''deep concern'' about the fate of Kashmiri Hindus who have been ''hounded out of their homes by Jehadi Muslim elements'', Vaidya said. ''It is now more than two decades that they have been living as refugees in different parts of the country. The national executive calls upon both the Central and State Governments to have a dialogue with these unfortunate people and find a way for their safe and secure rehabilitation in the Kashmir valley which has been their home for thousands of years,'' the resolution said. Vaidya said Pakistan has no locus standi on the issues relating to the Jammu and Kashmir on this side of the Line of Control, ''whether it is the future of this side or the dispensation there.'' He said the Government should talk to Pakistan only on the issue of when it will return occupied territories.

 

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