The delegation met Lt Governor G C Murmu in Jammu and submitted a memorandum demanding safeguarding rights of people over land and jobs, release of detainees and withdrawing cases against youth among others.
Eight former legislators led by Syed Altaf Bukhari on Tuesday became the first group of mainstream politicians to open the channels of communication with the office of Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor and making a slew of demands including restoration of statehood. The delegation met Lt Governor G C Murmu in Jammu and submitted a memorandum demanding safeguarding rights of people over land and jobs, release of detainees and withdrawing cases against youth among others.
Bukhari was the state’s finance minister in the PDP-BJP coalition government. “Since the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status embedded in Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and bifurcation of the State into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature and Ladakh without one — the majority of its residents are yet to reconcile with this decision,” the memorandum reads.
Among other demands were restoration of J&K Bank’s functional dominion, reviving agriculture and horticulture sectors, support for Industry and manufacturing sector, tourism and allied industries and their revival. They also demanded relief for general trade including shopkeepers, bus and taxi owners, addressing unemployment and restoration of internet services.
The other members of the delegation were Ghulam Hassan Mir (president, Democratic Party Nationalist), Mohammad Dilawar Mir (former minister), Zaffar Iqbal (former PDP MLC), Javed Hassan Beig, Noor Mohammad Shiekh, Choudhary Qamar Hussain and Raja Manzoor Ahmad (all former PDP MLAs).
Most of the leaders were part of the PDP till the fall of the PDP-BJP government in 2018. Ghulam Hassan Mir was in PDP till 2008. The move to meet the Lt Governor comes on the fourth death anniversary of PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Mohammad Sayeed.