NEW DELHI: A Kashmiri organisation has informed the
that National Conference leader Mohammad Akbar Lone, who opened arguments for the petitioners challenging the validity of skeletonising of Article 370 to completely integrate Jammu and Kashmir with India and bring it on a par with other states, had shouted ‘
in the J&K assembly in 2018 and supported secessionist forces.
‘Roots in Kashmir’, through managing trustee Amit Raina, has filed an affidavit in the SC alleging Lone, who was a member of J&K assembly from 2002 to 2018, had shouted ‘Pakistan zindabad’ on the floor of the House and had refused to apologise for an act that hit at the root of the fact that J&K was an integral part of India
“Lone, presently a member of Parliament, also while addressing the media, hesitated to identify himself as an Indian. Similarly, in his rallies, he is also known for spreading pro-Pakistan sentiments. Probably that explains his opposition to any move that brings the people of J&K on par with the rest of the country,” the NGO said.
It attached media reports of reputed dailies of February 11, 2018, which said when BJP members of the assembly shouted ‘Pakistan murdabad’ following the terror attack on Sunjuwan military camp falling in the constituency of Lone, the latter shouted the pro-Pakistan slogan. Explaining his conduct in the assembly, Lone had told re porters, “Whether I am Kashmiri, Indian or Pakistani, I am first a Muslim. My sentiments got hurt and I said ‘Pakistan zindabad’.”
Arguing for Lone, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who donned the mantle of lead counsel in the matter, on August 3 told a bench led by CJI D Y Chandrachud that any alteration to Article 370 could have been done only by the J&K Constituent Assembly.
Once the Constituent Assembly lapsed in 1957 without providing for any mechanism in the J&K constitution to amend, alter or abrogate Article 370, it assumed a permanent character which the Centre was aware of till August 5, 2019, when it was abrogated “through an amazing piece of handiwork containing a mosaic of illegalities that deserve to be junked by the SC”, he said.