April 2019 News

J&K Will 'secede If 35A Tinkered With'

3 April 2019
The Tribune
Suhail A Shah

Anantnag: Reacting to BJP president Amit Shah's '2020 deadline for the removal of Article 35A', former Chief Minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti today said the same will also be the deadline for secession of Jammu and Kashmir from India. 'We should understand it will be a deadline for secession of Jammu and Kashmir from the Union of India as well,' Mehbooba said minutes after filing her nomination papers from the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat. Shah had yesterday said that Article 35A, which grants special privileges and rights to permanent residents of J&K and debars non-residents from buying land or property, getting government jobs, or voting in the state Assembly elections, will be removed by 2020. Asked about former J&K Sadr-e-Riyasat Karan Singh's interview to The Tribune, wherein he had maintained that the special status (under Article 370) to the state was given by the Government of India and was not to guarantee the Muslim majority character of the state, Mehbooba said: 'His late father, Maharaja Hari Singh, had laid down conditions for Article 370, which was also endorsed by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. So, he saying something like this is actually unacceptable'. Karan Singh had told The Tribune: 'It is not that we said we are a Muslim majority state, that's why we should get special status. The fact is that the special position was offered by the Government of India. Don't forget that.' Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and former Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said while he held the Indian Army in high esteem for fighting militancy and making supreme sacrifices for the nation, no innocent civilian should be killed for the sake of 'inam' (reward). He said there was one such case during his tenure and he made sure the guilty policemen were punished. 'And those policemen, guilty of the crime, have been languishing in jail for 11 years now,' Azad said. 'Any officer, jawan or policeman guilty of such a crime should not be spared,' he added.