He said the impression being created by central government that things are normal in Kashmir is not correct

SRINAGAR: Terming the suspension of internet and SMS service in Kashmir as “injustice”, former Union Finance Minister and head of five-member civil society Concerned Citizen Group (CCG) Yashwant Sinha said the situation in Valley was far from normal and asserted that people have behaved very maturely by not indulging in violence after scrapping of Article 370 and bifurcation of J&K into two Union Territories (UTs) by Centre on August 5.

“The situation in the Valley is far from normal. The normalcy is when shops are open, transport is plying and children go to school. None of this is happening in Valley at present,” Sinha said.

On his first impression after landing in Srinagar, he said, “From airport, we saw shops were closed. Only vegetable and fruit shops were open. We did not see any buses. It is not sign of any normalcy.”

He said the impression being created by central government that things are normal in Kashmir is not correct.

“They have not been depicting true picture of Kashmir. They have created false impression of the situation.”Referring to suspension of internet and SMS services in Valley, he said, “In this age to live without internet and SMS and depriving of cell phones for quite a long until it was restored, is injustice”.

On peace in Valley after August 5, Sinha said, “People of Kashmir are behaving with great maturity... They are undergoing suffering and pain and behaving maturely. They are not doing anything which will give handle to their critics. The credit for peace goes entirely to Kashmiris.”

The five-member CCG team would be in Valley for three days and meet with people from different sections of society. “We are going back and releasing a report to give true picture of prevailing situation in Kashmir,” added Sinha.

On scrapping of Article 370, Sinha said, “GoI has committed one mistake after another in dealing with the situation. It has caused pain and suffering to people.”

“It was a case of sheer injustice with people of J&K by GoI, which was not sensitive to their feelings. They are carrying on with it. They did it for electoral gains which have not come their way. They did it because Maharashtra and Haryana elections were taking place. But the elections did not yield the kind of results that they expected,” he said.

The former finance minister said people are protesting in their own way. “If shops are closed that is a form a protest. There has been no violence except in isolated incidents.

"That is because this is the way people want to respond and send their message to the government. This is new form of protest, where they are showing their maturity and not allowing government to take advantage of the situation,” he said.