India bent upon creating food crisis in Kashmir
tion of the NFSA only after New Delhi, unambiguously, conveyed to the Government that it will stop release of ration at subsidized rates if it (NFSA) was not implemented.
“(The) Government of India categorically informed the State Government that it will stop releasing ration at subsidized rates if the State of J&K does not implement the NFSA upto September 30, 2015. Accordingly the State Cabinet took cognizance of the emergent nature arising out of non-releasing of subsidized ration to the State and accordingly in the cabinet meeting held on December 02, 2015, it was decided to implement the NFSA in the entire State w.e.f February 01, 2016,” the Minister’s reply reads.
The State’s Government disclosure that the food program was implemented out of compulsion has put a question mark on its earlier claims that it was rolled out to cover maximum population and was a people-friendly initiative.
The implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) triggered massive protests across Kashmir. Both mainstream and separatist groups opposed the new food law. While mainstream parties opposed it on the plea that it would leave lakhs of souls without subsidized ration, the separatists saw a “deeper conspiracy” behind the move.
The CAPD Minister on Saturday also disclosed that the previous NC-Congress Government gave a green signal for implementation of the food law in State.
“The cabinet (vide its decision No. 202/25/2011, dated 24.11.2011) gave its consent for the NFSA. Subsequently, the then Government conveyed its consent to the Government of India (vide letter No. CAPD/FOOD/21/2009-Part-II, dated 25.11.2011),” the reply states.
Reports say that India uses managed food shortage as a weapon of submission by Kashmiris. It is estimated that thousands of poor men’s kitchens have shut down due to non-availability of food.—Report