Jammu, September 3: After Ladakh raising the demand for separation from Kashmir amid turmoil in the state, the civil society in Jammu has joined the chorus for separate Jammu and integration into India.
Speakers at a seminar conducted by the Jammu for India (JFI) raised concerns over ‘Islamic domination’ and alleged that the Central government continued to hold the view that Kashmir represented the whole of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and Muslims of Kashmir represented all people of the state.
“We unequivocally demand liberation from this Islamic dispensation,” said JFI chairman Hari Om. He added that a separate state of Jammu was the only alternative for nationalists.
Thupstan Chhewang, BJP MP from Ladakh, had recently said the people of Ladakh were getting restless and did not want to remain with Kashmir as they felt it does not bode well for their security.
He had said an attempt was being made to bring together all political parties in Ladakh in a move for a front that would push for union territory status. He had stated that he would raise the issue during the upcoming national executive of the BJP in Kerala.
Taking cue from the move generated in Ladakh for separation from Kashmir, Jammu civil society today raised the same issue and called for a separate state of Jammu.
“Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s inability to visit Jammu and Ladakh at a time when a seditious war is being waged has given the impression that the Government of India considers all constituencies in the state that stand by India as irrelevant and peripheral to its concerns. Demonstrating such a selective liking has added fuel to the separatist war,” said the JFI chairman.
When contacted, BJP MP Jugal Kishore Sharma declined to comment on the issue. “I am in a meeting and will soon revert to you with the answer,” he said. He later kept his mobile phone switched off.
State BJP chief spokesperson Virendra Gupta said the Government of India was not against the Ladakh MP’s demand. He had vehemently demanded separate statehood for Jammu while in the Jammu Statehood Morcha before merging the body into the BJP.
“The BJP had won the Ladakh seat over the core issue of union territory status and it is a genuine demand. As far as Jammu is concerned, the Union Finance Minister had, during his two visits to Jammu, emphasised on the BJP cadre underlining development in Jammu,” he said.
Gupta added that decentralisation of power for Jammu was the primary concern and the Government of India should see into it. He further said as far as the political structure was concerned, the NDA did not advocate separate statehood for Jammu.