A week before a petition challenging Article 35A of the Constitution is heard in the Supreme Court, separatists in the Valley have warned of a “mass agitation” against any attempt to “tinker” with the Article. The article gives special rights and privileges to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
The separatist leadership has called for a complete shutdown on August 5 and 6. The case will come up for hearing in the Supreme court on August 6.
“A mass agitation of hitting and occupying streets will be launched if any tinkering with 35 A is allowed to take place under a legal garb, the consequences of which will be entirely on those perpetuating such mischievous ploys against people of Jammu and Kashmir,” said the joint separatist leadership, comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik.
The joint leadership asked people to be ready for a mass agitation in their absence. “People should be ready as there is every apprehension of a mass crackdown against leadership and political activists by the ruling dispensation and we may be gagged, arrested and jailed…” Mirwaiz Umar Farooq tweeted.
Political groups have called for a united fight against the “assault” on the rights of the Valley’s people.
Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Saturday asked political organisations belonging to mainstream parties and separatists groups to unite to defend the Article. “I say from this stage that all parties… separatists, National Conference…I would have asked Congress as well, but that is a national party… We have a challenge before us — 35A,” she said.
The separatists claimed the case on Article 35 A is “part of BJP/RSS plan to change the demography of the state”.