Jammu, November 15 (KMS): Shiromani Akali Dal president Simranjit Singh Mann has ripped apart the integral mantra being propagated by India and said that Jammu and Kashmir continues to remain a disputed territory whose future is to be decided through UN-acknowledged plebiscite.
The Sikh leader, who is the member of Indian parliament from Sangrur, Punjab, talking to media persons in Jammu before leaving for his home state, Punjab, endorsed that India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Lal Nehru took the Kashmir dispute to the United Nations on January 1, 1948 pledging that the future of the territory would be decided through plebiscite.
The Sikh leader criticized the Modi government for revoking Article 370 of the Indian constitution to claim that “Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India”. He questioned how Jammu and Kashmir could be a part of India when a country’s parliamentarian like him is not allowed to enter the territory. “Jammu and Kashmir is not a part of India; it is still a separate state where plebiscite is still to be held and where demand for plebiscite still stands,” he clarified.
Mann added that it has not yet been decided that Jammu and Kashmir is a part of India. He warned India against suppressing the Kashmiri people and said that Indian police call Kashmiris to police station without any reason. He said that cases would be filed in courts against police officers who were found involved in persecuting any Sikh, Muslim or Hindu in the territory.
He also slammed the Modi government over being denied entry into occupied Jammu and Kashmir questioning the claim of normalcy being propagated by the Modi regime in the territory.
Simranjit Singh Mann had moved a local court in Kathua last month after district authorities did not permit him to visit the Valley citing possible disturbance. He had reached Kathua to appear before the chief judicial magistrate but was not allowed to move out of the hotel. However, his representatives appeared in the court which decided to hear the case on November 29.
Talking to reporters, Mann said he is an elected member of parliament and was planning to visit Kashmir to know the welfare of its people post abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into so-called two union territories in August 2019.
“They (BJP leaders) are saying that J-K has become an integral part of India post abrogation of Article 370 but here a parliament member is not allowed to visit this part of the country and restrictions are placed on me,” he said. Mann said he will raise the issue in parliament during its next session.
The MP said he has every right to visit any part of the country and is going to contest the next parliament elections from Srinagar in 2024.
“I will not give up my fight. If I am denied justice (by the court of CJM), then I will move the High Court and also the Supreme Court, if needed,” he said.
Earlier in October, Mann spent several nights at Lakhanpur – the gateway to J-K bordering Punjab – in protest against restrictions imposed by authorities on his entry into the occupied territory.
Mann said the BJP-led regime is harassing the people and said he will continue his struggle for justice.