People's Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said the Supreme Court's decision to uphold Article 370 abrogation is nothing less than a death sentence, adding that it marked the defeat of the idea of India with which the Muslim-majority state had acceded in 1947.
"Today an unconstitutional and illegal act that took place in the Parliament was declared legal. It is nothing less than a death sentence not only for Jammu and Kashmir but for the idea of India," Mufti said in a five-minute video message she posted on X.
"The SC has said that Article 370 is temporary, which is why it was removed. This is not only our defeat but also the defeat of the idea of India. This is the defeat of the imagination of India, the Gandhian India with which Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir, rejecting Pakistan, joined hands with the Hindus, Buddhists Sikhs and Christians, the country of Gandhi. Today marks the defeat of that idea of India," she added.
The former chief minister urged the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh not to be disheartened or lose hope over the apex court's decision.
"Don't lose heart, don't lose hope. Jammu and Kashmir has seen a lot of ups and downs. The SC verdict today is a halt, it is not our destination. Don't make the mistake of considering it as the end. Our opponents want us to lose hope and accept defeat. But that should not be the case," she said.
The PDP president said the struggle in Jammu and Kashmir was a political fight which has been going on for decades.
No decision is final, not even the Supreme Court's decision. This is a political fight which has been going on for many decades. Our people have made sacrifices and we will not quit halfway, she added.
Mufti said the Supreme Court declaring Article 370 as a temporary provision of the constitution has strengthened the forces who claim that the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India is temporary.
In 1947, there was a government, a Parliament and a constitution was made. Promises were made to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and a special status was granted. After 77 years, another party came which harped on removing Article 370 when they come to power and they did it. It is not our defeat but the defeat of the country. They have betrayed us, we did not."
"Today, they have weakened the country by declaring Article 370 as temporary. They have strengthened those forces in Jammu and Kashmir who have been claiming that the accession with India is temporary. The hand which had joined you with hopes, you have injured that hand today. So do not lose hope, this time shall also pass," Mehbooba added.
The PDP chief urged people in other parts of the country not to celebrate the abrogation of Article 370 as she warned that the ruling party at the Centre will not stop at it.
"...What has started in Jammu and Kashmir will spread to other parts of the country. They will not waste much time in snatching from you the Constitution and the Tricolour under which we fought for and won our freedom. At that time, we will not celebrate but we will pray that you will counter them with courage," she added.