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Shehla Rashid quits electoral politics

I cannot be party to the exercise of legitimizing the brutal suppression of my people, she said

By The Telegraph and PTI in New Delhi
  • Published 9.10.19, 5:55 PM
  • Updated 9.10.19, 6:00 PM
  • 2 mins read
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Shehla Rashid (in picture) claimed political leaders in the state are being forced to contest elections only on the issue of restoration of statehood and have been asked to keep quiet about Article 370 and bifurcation of the state Sourced by Correspondent

Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement party member Shehla Rashid on Wednesday said that she is making clear her "dissociation" with the electoral mainstream politics in Kashmir and "will continue to be an activist," while referring to the block-development council polls as a "sham electoral exercise."

"I cannot be party to the exercise of legitimizing the brutal suppression of my people. I would, therefore, like to make clear my dissociation with the electoral mainstream in Kashmir. I will continue to be an activist and raise my voice against injustice on all fronts that do not require a compromise and I'll continue to put my energies behind the Supreme Court petition seeking the restoration of special status of the state, and the reversal of bifurcation of the state" Rashid said in a statement.

Rashid, who became a prominent face of student activism following a controversy over a 2016 event at the Jawaharlal Nehru University during which anti-national slogans were alleged raised, had earlier this year joined the Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement floated by former IAS officer Shah Faisal.

In a statement, the former JNUSU vice-president said she was compelled to dissociate "with the electoral mainstream in Kashmir" due to the central government's move to hold block-development council elections later this month in Jammu and Kashmir, where communication blockades are in place.

"In view of mounting international pressure on the Indian government to end the siege in Kashmir, the Centre now wants to showcase a sham electoral exercise in order to convince the world that it is still a democracy," she said.  

The restrictions were imposed on August 5 after the Centre scrapped Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated the state into two union territories.

Rashid said she had joined politics as she believed it was "possible to deliver both justice as well as good governance, and also work for the resolution of the Kashmir issue as per the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir," adding that it would have possible if the "government respected the rule of law."

She claimed political leaders in the state are being forced to contest elections only on the issue of restoration of statehood and have been asked to keep quiet about Article 370 and bifurcation of the state.

"It is clear that participation in any political activity in Kashmir requires a compromise," she claimed.

Rashid said the government keeps inviting youth to join the mainstream but alleged its actions have only served to push people out of it.

The announcement of the former JNU students' union leader of quitting mainstream politics came on the day the Congress said it would not contest the block-development council polls.

Rashid was a prominent face of the student movement in 2016 after the arrest of JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar.