Art-370 had nothing that suggested cessation from India: Beigh

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Srinagar: Former deputy chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, and PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Beigh has said that most of the people in J-K have tribal cultural identities and that the government should give them tribal rights under Article 371 or some other mechanism and protect them as ethnic communities.

In an interview with Hindustan Times he said, “We need fresh blood in politics and people with tested integrity.”

He said that there was nothing in Article 370 that suggested a cessation from the Union of India. “Kashmir leaders talked as if Article 370 was something on which their identity and future depended. I do not underestimate the importance of Article 370 as a symbol. Symbols have a great emotional value in politics and religion. 35A had a substance in terms of protection of domicile and protection of land and also protection of jobs. 35A was more or less like Article 371.” Beigh said.

He further said that most of the people in J-K have tribal cultural identities. “The government should give them tribal rights under Article 371 or some other mechanism and protect them as ethnic communities. I was heartened to hear the statement of the Union home minister that as soon as circumstances permit, statehood will be restored to J-K. Even the PM was kind enough to make that pledge.”

Beigh also appealed the center to release the detained politicians of the state, “Most politicians who took an oath of the Constitution and contested elections have been detained. I too was under house detention. They are the ones whose relatives were killed by militants, who braved the onslaught of the Hurriyat Conference, suffered and yet stood by the Constitution of India. However, people who have been asking for secession, have no restrictions. Some people have been released. My plea is that you release them, five to 10 at a time. If any person misuses his liberty, you can take him back.” He explained.

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