DMK’s protest plan in Delhi over Kashmir issue to backfire?

Charging the BJP with imposing “undeclared Emergency” through its actions in dealing with Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu’s principal Opposition, the DMK, on Monday announced a protest in New Delhi on August 22 demanding the release of leaders under preventive detention in the border state.

However, political experts say the plan by the DMK to stage protest over Kashmir issue might backfire, as allegations are already being made that the party was talking against the interests of the nation.

Announcing the protest by DMK MPs at the Jantar Mantar on Thursday, DMK President M K Stalin said parties that “believe in democracy” would participate in the protest to send a signal to the BJP that implementation of its policies vis-à-vis Kashmir was not according to democratic principles.

Condemning the scrapping of J&K special status, Stalin said in a statement that the detention of family members of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir was “unacceptable”.

“The Central government has isolated Kashmir from India by imposing a curfew, using repressive forces and implementing prohibitory orders. By cutting channels of communication, the government has unnecessarily created a hostile environment,” the DMK statement read.

“It has been 14 days since Farooq Abdullah, the son of Sheikh Abdullah who was known as ‘Lion of Kashmir, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti – all former chief ministers – have been put under prevention detention or house arrest. These are the leaders who stood by the people of Kashmir and acted as their voice,” Stalin said in his statement.

Stalin, earlier on Monday, had chaired a meeting with party members to discuss the scrapping of special status to J&K. On the day the government announced the decision on J&K, Stalin had called it “murder of democracy”.