February 2019 News

Kashmir Shuts In Defense Of Article 35-A

13 February 2019
Greater Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: Kashmir observed a complete shutdown on Wednesday against the possible hearing of a bunch of petitions challenging Article 35-A, which confers special rights and privileges of permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir, in the Supreme Court. The two-day call for shutdown (on February 13, 14) was given by the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik following reports that the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 37-A are possibly being heard by the apex court on these two days. Later on Wednesday evening, the JRL withdrew the shutdown call for February 14, saying in the cause list issued by the Supreme Court at 7 pm, it (pleas against Article 35 A) is not listed for hearing on Thursday. In a statement, the JRL had Tuesday urged people of Kashmir to 'be ready for a mass agitation in case the Supreme Court announces any verdict against the J&K's hereditary state subject law'. The strike call evoked a complete response across Kashmir, including the summer capital Srinagar, where all business establishments and private institutions remained closed for the day, while traffic was off the roads. This time around, no restrictions or curbs were imposed by the police in Downtown, though a heavy deployment of forces was made in its areas to prevent any major protest rally in support of the Article 35-A. The JRL call evoked a complete response in Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag and Kulgam districts in southern Kashmir and Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora districts in northern Kashmir. The auto-rickshaw drivers' association had extended their support to the JRL call, stating that the issue of Article 35-A was 'linked to our future generations'. The Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the people of Jammu and Kashmir will defend Article 35-A. Taking to Twitter, Mirwaiz wrote: 'Article 35A hearing scheduled for today and tomorrow in the Supreme Court. Kashmir bar association's top lawyers ready to defend our case; people of Jammu and Kashmir will forcefully resist every challenge by New Delhi to change the demography of the state by rolling back the hereditary state subject laws of 1927 being contested by its agents'. Meanwhile, a 14-member team of the Kashmir high court bar association headed by its president Mian Abdul Qayoom is camping in New Delhi to appear before the Supreme Court in defense of Article 35 A.