Washington: Indian-American lawmaker Pramila Jayapal has introduced a bipartisan resolution in the US House of Representatives urging India to end the restrictions on communications and mass detentions in Jammu and Kashmir as swiftly as possible and preserve religious freedom for all residents.
The Resolution number 745, co-sponsored by Jayapal’s Republican colleague Steve Watkins, while recognising the security challenges India faces in Jammu and Kashmir, asks India to refrain from the use of threats and excessive force against detained people and peaceful protesters.
“The Indian government must quickly lift restrictions on cell phones and internet access, release arbitrarily detained people, protect free speech and peaceful protest, and condemn all religiously motivated violence at the highest levels across India,” Jayapal said in a tweet.
The restrictions have been in force since the abrogation of Article 370 that accorded special status to the region on August 5.
Jayapal said India as the world’s largest democracy shares a unique and important relationship with the US and she is proud to have lived her life in the world’s two greatest democracies-as a citizen of India for 35 years, and now as a proud American citizen and member of Congress. She hoped to work with the Indian government and colleagues in Congress to strengthen the US-India partnership, while protecting the human rights of the Kashmiri people.
“I have fought to strengthen the special US-India relationship, which is why I’m deeply concerned. Detaining people w/out charge, severely limiting communications, and blocking neutral third-parties from visiting the region is harmful to our close, critical bilateral relationship,” she said