SC verdict “nothing less than a death sentence”, says Mehbooba, PDP suspends activities for a week

"Today an unconstitutional and illegal act that took place in the Parliament was declared legal", said the PDP chief, adding that the verdict marked the death of the idea of India

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti (photo: National Herald archives)
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti (photo: National Herald archives)

NH Digital

People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the abrogation of Article 370 was “nothing less than a death sentence", adding that it marked the defeat of the idea of India with which the Muslim-majority state had acceded in 1947.

"Today an unconstitutional and illegal act that took place in the Parliament was declared legal. It is nothing less than a death sentence not only for Jammu and Kashmir but for the idea of India," said Mufti in a five-minute video she posted on X (formerly Twitter).

In the wake of the SC decision, the PDP has suspended all its political activities for next one week. "The party president Mehbooba Mufti was scheduled to address various workers conventions as part of her ongoing public outreach programme and many such conventions were scheduled over the next few days.

"Many other political activities were also scheduled by the party. But in order to stand in solidarity with our people at this crucial juncture in the wake of the Supreme Court Of India’s Verdict on the issue of Article 370, we have decided to cancel all our political activities for next one week,” the party's chief spokesperson Suhail Bukhari said in a statement.

A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court, in concurring judgements today, upheld the validity of the Union government’s August 2019 Constitutional order which abrogated Article 370, taking away the special status accorded to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Supreme Court also directed that Jammu & Kashmir’s statehood should be restored and elections be held by September 2024.

The bench — led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and including justices SK Kaul, Sanjeev Khanna, BR Gavai and Surya Kant — had reserved its verdict on 5 September on as many as 23 petitions challenging the Presidential Orders of 2019 repealing the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, after hearing the matter for 16 days.

“The SC has said that the Article 370 is temporary, which is why it was removed. This is not only our defeat but also the defeat of the idea of India. This is the defeat of the imagination of India, the Gandhian India with which Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir, rejecting Pakistan, joined hands with the Hindus, Buddhists Sikhs and Christians, the country of Gandhi. Today marks the defeat of that idea of India," added Mufti.

Mufti was J&K chief minister until she had to resign in June 2018 after the BJP announced that it was pulling out of its alliance with the PDP. The two parties had entered into an alliance in March 2015 and initially Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was sworn in as the chief minister. After his death in January 2016, his daughter was sworn in as CM in April 2016, after she had met the prime minister. In the intervening months, president’s rule was imposed in the state.

Mufti urged the people of Jammu & Kashmir to not lose hope over the apex court's decision. “Don't lose heart, don't lose hope. Jammu and Kashmir has seen a lot of ups and downs. The SC verdict today is a halt, it is not our destination. Don't make the mistake of considering it as the end. Our opponents want us to lose hope and accept defeat. But that should not be the case,” she said.

The PDP president said the struggle in Jammu and Kashmir was a political fight which has been going on for decades. “No decision is final, not even the Supreme Court's decision. This is a political fight which has been going on for many decades. Our people have made sacrifices, and we will not quit halfway,” she added.

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