Mirwaiz Joins Protest Against Food Security Act
Protests against the Food Security Act in Srinagar (Photo: Basit Zargar)
SRINAGAR: Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Monday joined the opposition National Conference and other separatist groups in opposing the implementation of the National Food Security Act in Jammu and Kashmir.
"The urgency with which the National Food Security Act, which is a central law, is being implemented in J&K reeks of another conspiracy to erode the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by the PDP-BJP coalition government," Mirwaiz said.
"The Hurriyat Conference will use all means to thwart such moves," he added.
The remarks come two days after the J&K's Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution minister, Chaudhary Zulfkar Ali said the government led by Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed is ready to "amend" the legislation in order to address the grievances raised by various stakeholders.
Protests erupted in many parts of Kashmir Valley including Srinagar last week against the new Food Act according to which each person will get 5 kilograms of rice grain every month, as against 35 kg for a family, which has evoked resentment among the rice-eating population of Kashmir Valley.
Severe discrepancies also surfaced in the new CAPD ration cards following which the state government ordered their review. While the ration distribution will be made according to NFSA from February 1, the issue is likely to cloud the proceedings of the winter session of the J&K legislature which will begin from January 20.
"The PDP-BJP Government cannot make any amendments in the law since the National Food Security Act was directly implemented by the government without bringing the food bill for discussion in the Assembly,” National Conference General Secretary, Ali Mohammad Sagar told a Srinagar based news agency.
Accusing the government of "befooling people", Sagar said: "The concerned minster is confusing people about the law. How can the government amend the Act which is passed by the Parliament of India? And the state government directly implemented it in the state,” Sagar said.
"Only 95 lakh will be provided ration whereas we have a population of 1.25 crore as per Census 2011 which has risen to nearly about 1.3 crore today. The scheme doesn’t cover 25 percent population who will be deprived of food grain,” Shakeel Qalander, a prominent industry leader said.