People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 14

April 07, 2013




CPI(M) Demands Release of Arrested Youth


On April 2, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, secretary of the Jammu & Kashmir state unit of the CPI(M), expressed serious concern over the deteriorating situation in Shopian where some youth have been arrested by the police, causing unrest and a shutdown for the preceding three days in the district. Tarigami raised the issue during the question hour in the Legislative Assembly, demanding that the government must immediately release the arrested youth in order to bring normalcy back in Shopian.


During his speech on the issue in zero hour, Tarigami sought the government’s intervention to end the impasse which has affected the normal life in Shopian. He said the lack of trust in the people, especially the youth, and disrespect for their political preferences unfortunately continue to haunt the present dispensation. In fact it is this mistrustful thinking that makes the youth eternal suspects; they are treated with contempt by the administration with an incessant demand to prove their innocence.


The CPI(M) leader observed that people in general and youth in particular have been framed in false cases which are yet to be withdrawn despite repeated announcements from the government. “Who are these suspect youth? They are our own children and it is imperative for the government to accommodate and listen to them. Unfortunately the youth in general continue to feel alienated, and what adds to their grievance is that they are being pushed to the wall. Some are being detained without any reason, and draconian laws like Public Safety Act are being slapped on them in most of the cases for petty offences. It seems we are not living in a democratic set-up and that there is no room for dissent and any difference of opinion,” Tarigami remarked.


The CPI(M) leader demanded immediate release of the innocent youth who have been arrested over the last few days in Shopian and called for an end to persecution of youth of the area on flimsy grounds, which spoil their careers and their lives. “I urge the government to intervene into the matter and see why the people of Shopian, who have already suffered a lot, are on a strike for the last three days. The government must address their grievance with an open mind and a positive attitude,” he stressed.  




On March 24, the CPI(M) state committee demanded that facts must be made public regarding the arrest of Liaqat Shah, a Kashmiri youth who was arrested by Delhi Police when he, along with his wife, was returning via Nepal. The state committee termed it as a setback to the government’s policy of return and rehabilitation of the Kashmiri youth who had crossed over to the other side of the Line of Control (LoC).


“Shah’s arrest is a serious setback which should not be ignored or taken lightly by the state government. The government must come out with the facts in this matter and send a strong message to those who are averse to such reconciliatory process.”


The CPI(M) state committee cautioned about the spread of a dangerous trend in which a number of innocent youth are being framed for the sake of perks and prize positings across the country. “We believe the statement of Liaqat’s second wife, in which she had said that Liaqat came to surrender before the authorities in Jammu and Kashmir after the application of his family for his rehabilitation under the state government's policy was approved by authorities, should be taken into consideration without any partiality.”


The CPI(M) also urged the chief minister to take up the issue with the central government and ensure that Liaqat was released without any delay. It said, “In past, many Kashmiri youth have suffered terribly as they were framed in different fictitious cases of terror. Later the judiciary had to intervene and they were freed. We are concerned that Liaqat should not be another such a youth who will have to suffer despite discarding violence.”




On April 1, the CPI(M) Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami termed as unsatisfactory the state government’s reply to his Calling Attention motion on the pending incentives for ASHA workers. He said the services of the ASHA workers in the health sector unfortunately remain unrecognised in Jammu and Kashmir, owing to lack of government attention.


The CPI(M) leader had called the attention of the government towards a matter of public importance. It was regarding the stoppage of registration charges, nutrition charges, monthly meeting charges, mobile charges, etc, and reduction in the existing delivery charges from Rs 600 to Rs 350 per delivery; non-payment of Rs 400 as post-delivery check-up charges in favour of ASHA workers. However, in its reply, the government said the ASHA workers were being paid incentives on performance basis for rendering different services under the National Rural Health Mission.


Not satisfied with the government’s reply to his calling attention motion, the CPI(M) leader said the government of Jammu and Kashmir must take a cue from the Kerala government which has not only cleared all dues to the ASHA workers but raised their monthly honorarium to Rs 600 per month.


He urged the government to provide a genuine and adequate monthly honorarium to these workers who essentially act as the backbone of the structure of health services in rural areas of the state. He said the custom of paying poor compensation for extremely hard work should come to an end in order to do justice to protect the women working in the health sector. The CPI(M) leader observed that the state government has totally neglected the ASHA workers who are contributing a lot to making the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) a successful scheme.


On this occasion, Tarigami reiterated the CPI(M)’s long pending demand that the state government must meet forthwith the genuine demands of ASHA workers. These include enhancement and timely disbursement of honorarium, six hour duty per day, supply of special kits, social security benefits like EPF and pension, etc. “The ASHA workers have been instrumental in providing better medicare to the rural people, especially the women folk and their young ones, besides ensuring social mobilisation,” the CPI(M) leader reminded the government.


Tarigami further said the ASHA workers work in rough terrains of the rural areas tirelessly and selflessly, despite all the difficulties they are confronted with. “The government must acknowledge the contribution of these workers to the NRHM and the improvement of the health status of the poor, especially mothers and infants,” he added. He cautioned the government that it must take serious note of the brewing discontentment among the ASHA workers and take necessary action for an immediate fulfilment of their demands, failing which the rural health mission might get badly affected.