Even as shutdowns continued in Kashmir for the 79th day, senior CPM leader Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami on Tuesday said that the fact that shops and establishments are not opened through the day and schools work without children and teachers signal some sort of “unorganised” protest by the people.
He said the people of Kashmir, both mainstream and separatists, feel humiliated and if the situation is not arrested it “might lead to something more for the rest of the country”.
In Delhi for a medical check-up, Tarigami said that “Kashmiris are going through a scenario which is terrible in our history”, and that the people of J&K, particularly those in the Valley, have lost faith in the present dispensation in Delhi.
Asked why large-scale protests are not taking place, he said, “how many times have you seen protests taking place in Tihar jail?” There is silence even in graveyards, he said. “Don’t make my Kashmir, our Kashmir a graveyard,” he said in a free-wheeling conversation at CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s 36, Canning Lane official residence here.
Yechury said he plans to file a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court seeking clarification on the restrictions on Tarigami. Yechury also said the apex court had said that Tarigami was not under house arrest and there was no charge against him, but the authorities in Srinagar are not permitting him to move freely.
Tarigami, on the other hand, hit out at the government. “The situation, if not arrested, I have a firm belief that it might lead to something more for the rest of the country as a whole. It will have very serious implications for the future of our country and our polity... the shock and distress which our people are facing now is unprecedented.”
He added, “It is unprecedented in the sense that Kashmiris, irrespective of the earlier divides between mainstream, separatists, this group and that group... the whole community we feel we have been humiliated... betrayed...”
He said the situation is such that leading newspapers have become government gazettes and only one political party is allowed to function. He asked “leaders and parties who are still committed to secular democratic ethos of the country to come out of the slumber before it is too late”.