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India's government accused of ‘murdering democracy’

COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA-MARXIST (CPI-M) politburo member Brinda Karat accused the Indian government of “murdering democracy” today.

This remark was made as the Kashmir crisis continued to deepen with a heavy troop presence on the streets of the north-western region.

The disputed territory has remained in lockdown since the Indian government revoked its special status last week.

This ended a six-decade agreement that gave the Muslim-majority region an amount of autonomy.

An internet and phone block remains in place and political leaders are being held in a bid to prevent mass mobilisations, protests and meetings.

Eid celebrations were muted, with residents only allowed to walk to mosques in pairs or alone.

Ms Karat warned that the actions of right-wing Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government were undemocratic.

“If we look at the photographs in the national newspapers, there are many people protesting, and that is natural. They (central government) try and pretend to show the rest of the country that everything is normal.

“What is the point of fooling yourselves? What the government has done in Kashmir is nothing but the murder of democracy,” she said.

She said its actions would further alienate the people of Kashmir, who feel that the decision to revoke the Indian constitution’s Article 370 was imposed without consultation with them or their elected representatives, with Kashmir’s assembly having been dissolved last year.

Ms Karat said :”You haven’t discussed anything with me: That is the feeling of Kashmiris. [National Security Adviser] Ajit Doval going there and chatting with two to three people and pretending that everything is normal: this is highly insensitive. The central government is putting salt on fresh wounds.”

Last week CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury was detained and deported from Kashmir after travelling to meet party members and CPI-M central committee member Mohd Yusuf Tarigami, a four-times elected member of the Jammu & Kashmir assembly.

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