(Image source from: newindianexpress.com)
August 5th 2020 marks one year anniversary of abrogation of Article 370 and Jammu and Kashmir has issued curfew for 3 days starting today.
After the Modi 2.0 government pulled off a political move by abrogating Article 37 and ending the special status to Jammu and Kashmir in 2019, the state was bifurcated into two Union territories in the following months and was placed under a strict lockdown with movement of people being restricted and communication services blocked.
The move by the Modi government was challenged in the Supreme Court which is yet to hear the petitions against the abrogation and despite knowing the fact that holding restrictions under Section 144 were illegal, the Supreme Court did not take any action against the government.
On July 23, the forum for Human Rights in J&k released a report on the impacts of lockdowns on the human rights in Jammu and Kashmir. The report was prepared by Justice Madan Lokur, and Radha Kumar, former interlocutor for J&K. The report was released days before the one year anniversary of Article 370 dissolution which states the trauma of people in J&K/
What are the potential loses being faced by people of J&K since the Abrogation of Article 370?
The team of leading daily, The Quint, had spoken to Radha kumar who was member of the bench who prepared the report on July 23. He stated the side effects of the abrogation of special status that people of Jammu and Kashmir are facing till now. Take a look.
The Media and the Press Lost Freedom:
- Jammu and Kashmir’s media was the first one to be effected by the decision of Modi government.
- The media were not able to report about the special status being removed due to the communication being blocked.
- After the operations have resumed, the government had censored the media reporting of anything that would disregard the government and 4G internet services were shut and frequent shutdown across J&K made the lives miserable.
- No newspapers were published for two months after the abrogation.
- Several journalists have quit or are out of work.
- UAPA, an anti-terrorist act was being used to prosecute individuals.
- Amidst this ruckus, a new media policy has been introduced that constitutes the news to be national and anti-national and only national news would be allowed to publish.
A worst impact on the healthcare access
- August to September lockdown in 2019 had led to worst impact than the COVID-19 lockdown.
- Doctors were held up and beaten at the check posts.
- There was exponential rise in mental health problems across Jammu and Kashmir.
- Due to joblessness and multiple lockdowns, many people were unable to afford a proper health care.
- It was impossible for patients with ailments to reach to hospitals or talk to their doctors over mobile phones.
- Pharmaceutical shops were closed and delivery of medicines was not made.
Impact on Children’s Mental Health
- Enakshi Ganguly, the child rights expert said that in addition to human rights violation, mental health of children was affected due to the disruption created in their lives.
- The impact on children’s mind is still being affected due to the lockdown in this COVID-19 pandemic.
- Schools and colleges were functional barely for 100 days between 2019 and 2020.
- Limitations on networks to 2G made it impossible to continue the studies with online classes.
- Children below 10 years have started asking questions beyond their age.
Impact on Kashmir’s Businesses and Industries
- Kashmir was economically a well performing state before August 2019.
- By the end of December 2019, industries in Kashmir suffered a loss of Rs. 17,000 crores.
- As many as 497,000 jobs were lost due to the abrogation of Article 370.
- Agriculture, Construction, Manufacturing, real estate, IT, Transport, Tourism, and horticulture were the worst affected industries.
- Arrival of tourists to J&K was down by 77% affecting the tourism sector.
Moreover, the government has not allocated any compensation for all these losses faced by the Jammu and Kashmir.
By Gayatri Yellayi