SRINAGAR: At a time when a debate on Article 370 is raging, Radha Kumar, one of the three interlocutors appointed by the Centre to find a political roadmap for Jammu and Kashmir, has said their report with recommendations including on the Article granting special status to the state is pending with the state government.
“Ours was a detailed report. We had even discussed Article 370 that is nowadays making news,” Radha told Express on Wednesday.
“We had submitted our report to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in October 2011,” she said.
“We have been told by Home Ministry officials that our report is lying with Jammu and Kashmir government headed by Omar Abdullah,” Radha said, adding that the delay in implementing the report was sending a negative signal to the people of the state.
She said the state government should have sent its recommendations on the report to the Centre for further action. She asserted that Article 370 should not and cannot be abrogated.
“The word ‘temporary’ should be deleted from the heading of Article 370 and from the title of Part XXI of the Constitution. It should be replaced with ‘special’, which has been used for certain states such as Assam, Nagaland, Andhra Pradesh,” reads one of the recommendations in the report.
The report further states that Central laws shall be made applicable to the state only if they relate to the country’s security or a vital economic interest, especially in the areas of energy and water resources.
“Currently, the Jammu and Kashmir Governor is appointed by the President. The state government in consultation with the Opposition parties should give three names for consideration to the President who can select any one of them,” the report said.
The report also recommends that a Constitutional Committee be set up to review whether all Central Acts that have been extended to Jammu and Kashmir since 1952 have led to an erosion of the state’s special status.
Radha, journalist Dileep Padgaonkar and former Information Commissioner M M Ansari were appointed as interlocutors in October 2010 following a six-month-long unrest in Kashmir in which over 120 people, mostly youth, were killed.
The interlocutors tasked to suggest a roadmap for addressing all issues pertaining to the state met leaders of mainstream political parties, interacted with over 700 delegations and held three round-table conferences with civil society. They also met Shia leader Abbas Ansari, who is an executive member of the Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Besides, they also visited jails and interacted with the prisoners.