New Delhi: “Today, after five months, Kashmir has not become like any other part of India but the rest of India has become like Kashmir,” Yashwant Sinha said.

The government had claimed to make Kashmir like the rest of India but has ended up doing otherwise, former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha said on Monday, as he hit out the Centre over what he called its policy of “suppression”.

Mr Sinha, who had quit the BJP after being sidelined in the party he served for more than two decades, spoke at a protest against the Citizenship Act outside Jamia University today.

He said that the attack on JNU students and teachers on Sunday had erased the difference between “government goons and government police”, accusing cops of “helping” the anti-social elements and not the innocent.

Mr Sinha said he was part of a five-member group which had visited Kashmir amid restrictions and shutdowns about four years ago and after talking to locals and stakeholders drafted a report for the centre with a proposal for dialogue to resolve the situation.

“Here, a top level official told me that I was suggesting talks, which is not the government’s policy. We have a doctrine of state — a method and ideology of running the government — which was that anybody opposing us would be suppressed. That is the policy being followed and will be followed in Kashmir,” the 82-year-old leader said.

He said he was disappointed by the government’s approach then and last year and had also tried to go to Kashmir but was once “sent back” and on another occasion “confined to a hotel room”.

“Recently, when they scrapped special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two Union Territories, it was that same doctrine of state at work — suppression of dissent,” he claimed.

Mr Sinha said, “Those in the government had claimed that we will make Kashmir like the rest of India. Today, after five months, Kashmir has not become like any other part of India but the rest of India has become like Kashmir.”

He said if one were to visit Shopian, Baramulla or Pulwama in Kashmir, he would witness the heavy presence of security forces and the situation. The situation in Delhi, where police personnel are deployed in large numbers, is similar. 

“Wherever you look around, it’s a cycle of suppression. Earlier they would use the police to suppress voices but now they are also using goons to this effect. Whatever happened in JNU yesterday, shows this very tie-up,” he said.

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