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Political parties in Jammu demand statehood, extension of Article 371 to J&K

Political leaders from various parties convened a meeting in Jammu on Monday, followed by a demonstration, advocating for the urgent reinstatement of statehood, assembly elections, and the extension of Article 371 to Jammu and Kashmir

Political leaders from various parties convened a meeting in Jammu on Monday, followed by a demonstration, advocating for the urgent reinstatement of statehood, assembly elections, and the extension of Article 371 to Jammu and Kashmir.

Key demands also included the deportation of illegally settled immigrants, the swift return and settlement of Kashmiri migrant pandits, and the regularization of daily wagers.

This gathering marked the first such meeting in Jammu since the Supreme Court's December 11 ruling, upholding the abrogation of Article 370 by the Central Government in August 2019.

NPP Chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh, speaking to PTI post-meeting, emphasized the demand for the immediate restoration of statehood and the establishment of a democratically elected government in Jammu and Kashmir. Singh accused the BJP of governing Jammu and Kashmir remotely, asserting that the presence of bureaucrats unfamiliar with the region is contributing to growing alienation among the local populace.

"The democratically elected government is also an antidote against militancy, extremism, and violence," Singh added, pledging his party's commitment to safeguarding the interests of the people of the Jammu region.

Manish Sahni, President of Shiv Sena (UBT) Jammu and Kashmir, stated that the meeting focused on crucial issues concerning Jammu and Kashmir, particularly the Jammu region. Topics discussed included the restoration of statehood, extension of special status under Article 371 to J&K, assembly elections, deportation of illegal immigrants, and the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants.

Sahni mentioned that the meeting also called for the immediate removal of toll plazas from the Jammu-Pathankot highway due to the high influx of pilgrims to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, as well as the regularization of daily wagers.

Vijayant Pathania, Jammu district president of DSSP, expressed support for extending Article 371 to J&K to protect local land and job rights. The meeting concluded with the decision to form a committee to highlight and implement the agenda on the ground.

Social activist Anna Durani highlighted eight key points discussed during the meeting, including safeguarding Dogra culture and heritage, and advocating for the inclusion of Punjabi in the list of official languages. The participants emphasized the need for unity and a sustained struggle to achieve the outlined eight-point agenda. (With inputs from agencies)

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