Rights

Eminent Citizens Write to Modi, Kovind on 'Unacceptable' Situation in Kashmir

"It has been 68 days since the lockdown and we still do not know how the people of Jammu and Kashmir feel."

New Delhi: A group of 284 eminent Indian citizens – including academics, journalists, political leaders and others – have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind, calling the current clampdown in Kashmir “unacceptable”.

The signatories have said the Centre’s decision to read down Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories was taking without consulting locals, “and we still do not know how the people of Jammu and Kashmir feel”.

They also quoted a recent Kerala high court decision which said that the right to internet is a fundamental right, and said that internet services must be restored in the Valley on humanitarian grounds.

The full text of their petition and the list of signatories is below.

§

The people of the Kashmir valley and parts of Jammu have been under a security, political and communications lockdown since August 5, 2019. Thousands of troops man the entrances and exits to their homes, schools and universities. Hundreds of political leaders, including former Chief Ministers and legislators are under ‘preventive detention’. Mobile phones are blocked and internet snapped. Businesses have lost thousands of crores.

At the same time, our government has removed Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and divided the state into two Union Territories. Both steps were taken without consultation with the people of the former state or their elected leaders. It has been 68* days since the lockdown and we still do not know how the people of Jammu and Kashmir feel. We are unable even to speak to our friends and relatives in the valley.

Also read: Home Ministry Believes in Internet Ban, Mass Detention But Not in Paperwork

On humanitarian grounds, we find this situation unacceptable. The government should restore mobile and internet connections, which were declared a fundamental right just recently by the Kerala High Court.

On democratic grounds, too, we find this situation unacceptable. If the government can take away freedom of expression and the right to debate legislation that affects their lives in Jammu and Kashmir, what prevents them from doing so across the country?

It is not too late to roll-back the lockdown, hold legislative assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and let the people decide on Article 370 and statehood. We appeal to the government to do so.

Also read: ‘Graves Don’t Lie’: Srinagar Family Rubbishes Govt Report Denying Their Son’s Death

*When the petition was first started the count was 52 days. This figure has been updated to the date of sending the petition.

Signed:

  1. Ammu Abraham Mumbai, India
  2. Rekha Achuthan Hyderabad, India
  3. Anivek Abrol Chandigarh, India
  4. Leela Acharya Toronto, Canada
  5. Faisal Adil Tucson, Arizona, US
  6. Imtiaz Ahmad New Delhi, India
  7. Swaminathan Aiyar New Delhi, India
  8. Mani Shankar Aiyar, Delhi, India
  9. Jamila Akhter North Brunswick, New Jersey
  10. Shabnam Ali Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  11. Shuaib Amin India
  12. Arvinder Ansari India
  13. MM Ansari India
  14. Andrew Late.T. Arulappan Chennai, India
  15. Vidya Das Arora, India
  16. Minoo Awari Kodaikanl, India
  17. Zarreen Babu Kodaikanal, India
  18. Vijay Badami New Delhi, India
  19. Nandita Baig India
  20. Niloufer B Mumbai, India
  21. Zarine Bath Delhi, India
  22. Ishanjli Barla India
  23. Zuhaib Bashir Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  24. Champak Basu Kolkota, India
  25. Poonam Batra India
  26. Eijaz Bazaz India
  27. Selena Bedi Kapurthala, India
  28. Sharad Behar Bhopal, India
  29. Madhu Bhaduri Bangalore, India
  30. Prabha Bhalla Kolkata, India
  31. Gulzar Bhat India
  32. Shahnawaz Bhat Mumbai, India
  33. Indra Bhatia India
  34. Saumyajit Bhattacharya Delhi, India
  35. Raju Bhosale Vadodara, India
  36. Neera Burra India
  37. Rani Day Burra India
  38. Sundar Burra India
  39. Pankaj Butalia Delhi, India
  40. June Carvalho Bangalore, India
  41. Suhas Chakma Delhi, India
  42. Ramesh Chand New Delhi, India
  43. Satish Chand India
  44. Sara Chanda Delhi, India
  45. Paul Chandhok Albuquerque, India
  46. Neera Chandoke Delhi India
  47. Anjana Chandra Singapore
  48. Anupama Chandra Delhi, India
  49. Feroze Chandra Mumbai, India
  50. Prabha Chandran Delhi, India
  51. Partha Chatterjee New York, US
  52. Kalyani Chaudhuri India
  53. John Cherian Delhi, India
  54. Subramoni Chidambar India
  55. Subhash Chopra Harrow, UK
  56. Mona Das Delhi, India
  57. Shiwani Das Bharu, India
  58. SK Das India
  59. Sreela Das India
  60. Surjit Das India
  61. Vibha Puri Das India
  62. Vidya Das Arora India
  63. Arundhati Datta India
  64. Pradeep Deb Jaipur, India
  65. Devasahayam MG Kanyakumari, India
  66. Antara Dev Sen India
  67. Jasmine Dellal Ambur, India
  68. Anita Dighe Noida, India
  69. Shephali Dighe Surat, India
  70. A Sunil Dharan India
  71. Susan Dhavle Pune, India
  72. Roopa Dhawan New Delhi, India
  73. Vijaylakshmi Dikshit Gurgaon, India
  74. Rosemary Dzuvichu Kohima, India
  75. Achla Eccles New York, US
  76. Zea Fareed Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  77. Tanweer Fazal New Delhi, India
  78. Sumit Ganguly Bloomington, Indiana, US
  79. Mridu Garg Delhi, India
  80. Dolly George Kodaikanal, India
  81. Lathika George, India
  82. Sagarika Ghose Delhi India
  83. Jayati Ghosh New Delhi, India
  84. Monica Ghosh India
  85. Astri Ghosh India
  86. Gulab Grewal Ludhiana, India
  87. Seema Guha Gurgaon, India
  88. Supriya Guha Biel-Benken, Switzerland
  89. Meena Gupta Hyderabad, India
  90. Zoya Hasan India
  91. Roomana Hukil Hamilton, Canada
  92. Ayesha Iyer Bangalore, India
  93. Suhasini Iyer Delhi, India
  94. Swaminathan Kalidas Iyer Goa, India
  95. Serena Jacob Singapore
  96. Devaki Jain Hyderabad, India
  97. Nikhita Jain Greenvale, India
  98. Priya Jain New Delhi, India
  99. Rajesh Jain Ludhiana, India
  100. Leela James Gurgaon, India
  101. Kanchana Jayachandran Udupi, India
  102. Prem Shankar Jha India
  103. Radhika Jha Athens, Greece
  104. Jha Rajiv India
  105. Rishi Jha Delhi, India
  106. Seema Jha Hyderabad, India
  107. Vineet Johnson Sudbury, Canada
  108. Bhupendra Joshi Delhi, India
  109. Bascal Leo Joseph India
  110. Kamalnayan Kabra Gurgaon, India
  111. Kiran Kairab Ashburn, Virginia, US
  112. Kavas Kapadia New Delhi, India
  113. Kapil Kak Noida, India
  114. Nayana Kathpalia Mumbai, India
  115. Anita Katyal New Delhi, India
  116. Jaspreet Kaur Delhi, India
  117. Manleen Kaur India
  118. Rupinder Kaur India
  119. Mahnoor Yar Khan Hyderabad, India
  120. Navi Khan India
  121. Nyla Khan Edmond, Oklahoma, US
  122. Rasika Khanna, New Haven, Connecticut, US
  123. Swarn Anand Khanna, India
  124. Snowber Khan Mumbai, India
  125. Alpana Kishore London, UK
  126. Beulah Kolhatkar Chennai, India
  127. Anuradha Krishnamurthy Mumbai, India
  128. Lakshmi Krishnamurty Bangalore, India
  129. Bala Krishnan India
  130. Viswanathan Krishnan Tennessee, US
  131. Joginder Kular Ludhiana, India
  132. Arun Kumar Balaramapuram, India
  133. Avinash Kumar New Delhi, India
  134. Jayashree Kumar Kodaikanal, India
  135. Radha Kumar India
  136. Sasi Kumar Trivandrum, India
  137. Tulika Kumari Delhi, India
  138. Karoki Lewis, UK
  139. Primila Lewis Oxford, UK
  140. Swapna Liddle Delhi, India
  141. Sankar Lingam India
  142. Himani Madan Shimla, India
  143. Sasha Madan Simla, India
  144. Tahir Ahmad Magray Dammam, Saudi Arabia
  145. Joe Gouri Shankar Mahendra Chennai, India
  146. Nayeema Mahjoor Sutton, England, UK
  147. Rajesh Malhotra Gurgaon, India
  148. Nitin Malik Delhi, India
  149. Preet Malik India
  150. Subhash Malik New Delhi, India
  151. George Mathew India
  152. Ajay K. Mehra Noida, India
  153. Arjun Mehta Delhi, India
  154. Ashok Mehta Noida, UP
  155. Avanti Mehta Mumbai, India
  156. Janet Mendonca Kuwait
  157. Nivedita Menon Delhi, India
  158. Naaz Mir Delhi, India
  159. Mir Dafiq Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  160. Nivedita Mishra Noida, India
  161. Renuka Mishra Delhi, India
  162. Shubranshu Mishra Cornwall, UK
  163. Udayon Misra India
  164. Pramod Mital India
  165. Devendra Mohan India
  166. Jyoti Motihar Delhi, India
  167. Aditya Mukherjee Delhi, India
  168. Nita Mukherjee India
  169. Srila Mookherjee Kolkata, India
  170. Rekha Murty Mumbai, India
  171. Sachin N New Delhi, India
  172. Karthika Nair France
  173. Rajasree Nair New Delhi, India
  174. Nalini Nayak New Delhi, India
  175. Ranganath Nayak Belmont, Massachusetts, US
  176. Mudasir Noor u din Delhi, India
  177. Amitabha Pande Noida, India
  178. Shradha Parashari New Delhi, India
  179. Gulzar Ahmad Parry Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
  180. Arif Pasha Bangalore, India
  181. Sujata Patel Shimla, India
  182. Vince Patram Morristown, New Jersey, US
  183. Lynda Paul Pune, India
  184. Gopal Pillai India
  185. Sonali Pinheiro Kuwait, Kuwait
  186. Subbarao Prabhala India
  187. Anita Prabhu New Castle, Pennsylvania, US
  188. Lavanya Raghavan Montclair, New Jersey, US
  189. Sujata Raghavan New Delhi, India
  190. Alok Rai Allahabad, India
  191. Anil Rai New Delhi, India
  192. Badri Raina Delhi, India
  193. Rajagopal K Trivandrum, India
  194. Aruna Rajkumar India
  195. Akhileshwari Ramagoud Hyderabad, India
  196. Rajesh Ramakrishnan Chennai, India
  197. Vasanthi Raman India
  198. Goda Ramana Visakhapatnam, India
  199. Lalita Ramdas Alibag/Secunderabad, India
  200. Vani Ramkumar Shimoga, India
  201. Maya Rao Delhi, India
  202. Mohan Rao Bangalore, India
  203. M Y Rao Trivandrum, India
  204. Komal Rashid Lorton, Virginia, US
  205. Zeba Rashid India
  206. N Ravi Hyderabad, India
  207. Amit Rawat Pune, India
  208. Vibhor Relhan Delhi, India
  209. Jaya Retnakumar India
  210. Aditya Roy India
  211. Supriya Roychoudhury India
  212. Jehangir Rustomji India
  213. Anand Sahay New Delhi, India
  214. Mimansa Sahay New Delhi, India
  215. Sushila Sahay India
  216. Varun Sahni Pune, India
  217. Jane Samuel Allahabad, India
  218. Kim Samuel Salem, India
  219. Vijai Sankar Chennai, India 2019-09-28
  220. K Satchidanandan Delhi, India
  221. Ratna Sarawgi Kolkata, India
  222. Vetri Selvan Singapore
  223. Aatreyee Sen Dharamsala, India
  224. Rajat Sen India
  225. Debjani Sengupta Delhi, India
  226. Sushmita Sengupta India
  227. Minoopriya Senthilkumar India
  228. Manisha Sethi New Delhi India
  229. Shah Aamir Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  230. Abid Shah Ghaziabad, India
  231. Amit Shah Somerville, Massachusetts, US
  232. N D Sharma Bhopal, India
  233. Nidhi Sharma Delhi, India
  234. Natasha Sharma El Paso, Texas, US
  235. Prateeksha Sharma Delhi, India
  236. Shamim Sherwani India
  237. Deepak Shukla India
  238. Sonia Shukla Delhi India
  239. Angad Singh P India
  240. Charan Singh Granada hills, California, US
  241. Geetbani Singh India
  242. Kanishka Singh India
  243. Tanya Singh Delhi, India
  244. Updesh Singh Reading, England, UK
  245. Rekha Sinha Mumbai, India
  246. Manali Bhandare Singhal India
  247. Nusrat Sohail East Brunswick, New Jersey, US
  248. N Sriram Bangalore, India
  249. Antony Stephen Coimbatore, India
  250. K R Subash India
  251. Arun Subramanium Bangalore, India
  252. Jeanne Subramaniam Bangalore, India
  253. Kadayam Subramanian New Delhi, India
  254. Aparna Sundar Toronto, Canada
  255. Nandini Sundar Delhi, India
  256. Lawrence Surendra Bangalore, Delhi
  257. Aarti Susan Delhi, India
  258. Manzoor Ahmad Tak India
  259. Brij Tankha India
  260. Kamini Tankha Delhi, India
  261. Ravni Thakur Delhi, India
  262. Catherine Thankamma Cochin, India
  263. Sheela Thomas India
  264. Sunder Thomas Bangalore, India
  265. Shom Tiwari Elizabeth City, North Carolina, US
  266. Adil Tyabji India
  267. Hindal Tyabji India
  268. Khalid Tyabji New Delhi, India
  269. Jesus Ubald Chennai, India
  270. Ullekh NP New Delhi, India
  271. Vineet Vashishtha India
  272. Vinita Varghese Kuwait
  273. Samera Vaseer Edmond, Oklahoma, US
  274. Saraswathi Vedam Vancouver Canada
  275. Shashank Vira London, England, UK
  276. Sudhakar Vira India
  277. Swati Vira Gurgaon, India
  278. Udayan Vira Dehradun, India
  279. Neena Vyas India
  280. Mudassir Wani Dammam, Saudi Arabia
  281. Shahid Wani Delhi, India
  282. P Yesuthasen Chennai, India
  283. Muhammad Nadeem Yousuf Venice, Italy
  284. Snober Zaffer Ludhiana, India