A petition seeking abrogation of Article 35(A), coming up for hearing in Supreme Court next week, has brought the Valley’s mainstream political parties and separatists on the same page, with both sides warning of a mass agitation if the Act is tinkered with. After the Friday prayers, Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq led a protest march at Srinagar’s historic grand mosque against any attempts to alter the special position of Jammu and Kashmir in Indian Constitution.
The National Conference has called for a protest march on Saturday, and has also filed an intervention plea in Supreme Court “for inclusion as respondent in the petition challenging Article 35(A),” according to a party spokesperson.
Former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has warned of “catastrophic ramifications” if the Act is tampered with. Mufti tweeted on Friday: “My father took great pride in the special status that J&K enjoys under Article 370. He would often mention that while people of the state have made great sacrifices for larger goals, we need to safeguard what we already have. Today people cutting across party lines & other affiliations are united in their fight against any dilution of Article 35 A…”
Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz tweeted, “Tinkering with Art 35A is not only an attempt to dilute the disputed nature of #Kashmir but an all out assault on the very existence on the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which will never be allowed by its people, who are ready to even lay down their lives for its protection.” At Srinagar’s city centre, separatist leader Yasin Malik on Friday led a protest march against the petition seeking abrogation of Article 35(A).