New Delhi: Indian-American Democrat lawmaker Pramila Jayapal has introduced a bipartisan resolution in the US House of Representatives, urging the “Indian government to end restrictions on communications and mass detentions in Jammu and Kashmir as swiftly as possible and preserve religious freedom for all residents”.
It must be noted that ever since the Centre struck down Article 370 on August 5, all the mainstream J&K political leaders have been kept under detention. Article 370 promised the Valley special status under the constitution of India.
“The Indian government must quickly lift restrictions on cell phones and internet access, release arbitrarily detained people, protect free speech and peaceful protest, and condemn all religiously motivated violence at the highest levels across India,” Pramila Jayapal said in a tweet.
“I have fought to strengthen the special U.S.-India relationship, which is why I’m deeply concerned. Detaining people w/out charge, severely limiting communications, & blocking neutral third-parties from visiting the region is harmful to our close, critical bilateral relationship,” she added.
India has maintained that abrogating Article 370 is an internal matter, and that violence in the Valley has witnessed a let-up since August 5.
The Indian government has also hired a lobbying firm to represent its interests in Washington. This comes at a time when the US lawmakers have been criticising legislative changes to Jammu and Kashmir’s status.
In October, India had said that “it is regrettable that a few members of the US Congress used the Congressional hearing on human rights in South Asia to question the measures taken recently to safeguard life, peace and security in Kashmir”.