CPI to government: address alienation of Kashmiris



New Delhi: The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Thursday asked the government to take political and economic initiatives to address the alienation that Kashmiris feel trapped in.

"It is disturbing to learn that 50-60 people are dead and 1,800 people have sustained injuries (in the last two months of unrest in the Kashmir Valley)," CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said in the Lok Sabha.

He was participating in a special debate on the prevailing unrest in the state that he said had brought "life to a standstill".

"Commoners are the worst sufferers... While it is true pelting of stones has turned it into the stone war as if we have gone back to the Stone Age, but right or wrong there have been complaints of excessive use of force by security forces," Dasgupta said.

He said that the government needed to take note of "an element of anguish" in Kashmiris.

"There is an element of deep feelings of sorrow... There is a sense of alienation among the large number of people in Kashmir."

The CPI leader said there was a "genuine ground for grievances and that genuine grievance is exploited by the people who are unfriendly...they would not have been successful if there was no genuine grievance".

He said the "widening gap" between the government and the people was an "unfortunate tragedy for the Indian democracy".

"The political system as it exists in that part of the country has failed to represent the aspirations of the people."

He said the presence of security forces would not address the grievance of the people.

"People of Kashmir must have an accountable government. Therefore, political package, a political initiative and economic development, fruitful economic development, should take place in Kashmir," he said.

According to him "peace in Kashmir does depend on the peace in subcontinent".

"It is a reality... Talks with Pakistan must go on for normal relationship and, therefore, peace dialogue with Pakistan is an important element for bringing peace in Kashmir," Dasgupta said.

He said broadening the framework of autonomy within the framework of constitution of India will help to solve the problem.

IANS