New Delhi: Former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader Shehla Rashid announced Wednesday she was quitting ‘mainstream politics’ in Jammu and Kashmir, citing the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 as the reason.
Meanwhile, as per sources, Kashmir’s bureaucrat-turned-independent politician, Shah Faesal, who is under house arrest in Srinagar, has also hinted at leaving the electoral politics.
Sheila Rashid, former vice-pPresident of the JNU Students’ Union, said that her announcement was prompted by the government’s move to hold Block Development Councils (BDC) elections later this month in Jammu and Kashmir, where communication restrictions are in place.
Calling the BDC polls a ‘sham electoral exercise’ being carried out by the Centre ‘in order to convince the world that it is still a democracy’, Rashid claimed that the ‘Indian government continues to abduct children in Kashmir, and even as people are deprived of the means to call an ambulance and other emergency services’.
Noting that she 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’, Sheila Rashid said: “All this would have been possible if the government respected the rule of law.”
Sheila Rashid said she ‘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 Jammu and Kashmir, and the reversal of bifurcation of the state,” asserted Rashid.