The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has condemned the abrogation of key portions of Article 370 and the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir and taking away its statehood.In a joint statement issued by its president Ravi Kiran Jain and general secretary V. Suresh, PUCL said that while the deed by itself was deceitful, the manner in which it was done was even more so. “All the constitutional provisions, procedures, safeguards and values have been disregarded. What pains us most is that this change of status of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir was carried out with stealth, completely unilaterally, without even talking to or consulting the people of that State, even as part of government tokenism.”In particular, they strongly condemned the planned and sinister manner by which the Central government has gone about arresting important leaders of political parties, including former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and others, soon after airlifting over 35,000 troops and suddenly and abruptly asking all Amarnath yatris and holiday visitors to leave the State creating an acute sense of fear and panic. Lastly, the actions of the BJP government not to have provided Members of Parliament even two days notice to study the “Reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir Bill or the President’s resolution to repeal Article 370, only showed that the BJP not only does not want scrutiny and deliberation, but just wants to convert Parliament into a rubber stamp. The passage of 32 Bills, in haste, without pre-legislative consultation with public or discussions, not only confirms this but also indicates what await us in the near future,” they said.PUCL also apprehends that the exercise was a “ploy to take control of their natural resources, their water, mountains, the hills and fields and forests. It is yet another act to aggrandise and deprive the common Kashmiri and convert the Valley into a real estate venture.” Mr. Jain and Mr. Suresh demanded that the clampdown on telecom services and communication and restrictions on movement in Jammu and Kashmir be immediately lifted; all political/Opposition leaders be released, normalcy be restored in the Valley; all the troops be withdrawn; the three legislation introduced on August 5 be rolled back; and undertake any action with regards to Kashmir only after consulting the Kashmiri people.