KOLKATA: Senior CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami on Friday accused the BJP government at the Centre of turning Kashmir into a virtual prison by locking up leaders of different political parties after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution and by suppressing dissent.
Speaking at the foundation-day programme of party daily Ganashakti here, Tarigami, a four-time MLA of JK Legislative Assembly, called on intellectuals and members of the civil society to "rise in protest against the oppression of people of Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370 and 35A of the Constitution".
In a dig at the government's claim that not a single bullet was fired in Kashmir after the scrapping up of JK's special status on August 5, the 72-year-old, who was allowed to move out of Kashmir following a Supreme Court order in September, said there was no need to fire bullets when the entire valley "has been turned into a graveyard".
"How much freedom we got after Amit Shah repealed Article 370. He says everyday there has been no firing and the situation is peaceful. You have made Kashmir a graveyard. What is the point of firing then?" he said.
"Before the revocation, the governor used to say there will be no move to repeal special provisions. He told political parties there is no such plan and then the government made the sudden announcement in Parliament," he said.
Tarigami said while they feel proud to be citizens of the country and believe in the supremacy of the Constitution, the central government was "violating the spirit of Constitution, sometimes discreetly, sometimes openly".
"Some people feel surprised how CAA and NRC can come all off a sudden. It is not, it was all in their mind, part of their agenda," he said.
"Today it is Kashmir. Tomorrow it can be somewhere else," he said while "saluting" the student community for coming out on the roads to protest against the "anti-people policies" of the BJP.