SRINAGAR , “The Jammu and Kashmir Public Property (Prevention of Damage) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017” have a grave implication that it will trample the legtimiate democratic rights of people because our past experience tells us that such laws have always been misused.
There are already enough laws in place to deal with law and order situations and how many more new laws are needed? If people protest for issues regarding education, health care, electricity food, water and roads etc, they are not being allowed. If unemployed youth demand employment and employees, daily wagers, casual labors, ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers and others protest for their rights, force is being used against them. In all these protests, police comes forward to stop them instead of the concerned civil officials. If such laws are passed, it has the potential of creating erosion of the genuine rights of people. All this could have far-reaching implications.
The Government of the day needs to answer that if people protest for livelihood issues, mis-governance and excessive use of force, will they also be booked under this new law? Many illustrations from the past reveal that such laws have often been widely misused. These are authoritarian laws which trample civil and democratic rights of the people. The urgency is softening of the older harsh laws to give people some relief. But instead, new authoritarian laws are being passed which will only lead to curbing the legitimate democratic rights of the people.