Article 35-A: KEA holds protest demonstration

Kashmir based traders bodies had also supported Saturday’s strike call given by separatist bodies against the proposed abrogation of the Article 35-A.

MUKEET AKMALI
Srinagar, Publish Date: Aug 13 2017 12:51AM | Updated Date: Aug 13 2017 12:51AM
Article 35-A: KEA holds protest demonstrationPhoto: Habib Naqash/GK

Kashmir Economic Alliance- an amalgam of business bodies of traders, hoteliers, transporters etc., Saturday came out on roads to protest against proposed abrogation of Article 35-A, the constitutional provision which grants state subject rights and privileges to “permanent residents” of Jammu and Kashmir.

Holding placards and shouting slogans, the businessmen and traders assembled at Srinagar’s press enclave to lodge their protest against a move to tinker with special status of J&K. Led by KEA chairman Muhammad Yusuf Chapri, the protesting traders began to march towards Ghanta Ghar for sit in.

Later the security forces dispersed the protesting traders by resorting to mild lathi-charge at Ghanta Ghar. As per traders there was no injury to any protesters. 

Kashmir based traders bodies had also supported Saturday’s strike call given by separatist bodies against the proposed abrogation of the Article 35-A. 

The trading community has warned to launch agitation if attempts are made to abrogate the Article 35-A.

Earlier, Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) Co-chairman, Farooq Ahmad Dar addressed media near clock tower Lalchowk during sit in and expressed serious concerns over attempts to abrogate special status of the state.

Dar said: “RSS led groups are using every dirty trick to dislodge our special status. But their attempts will never be successful as we are ready to lay our lives in order to protect our autonomy. Mainstream parties should also mend their ways as people here would teach them a lesson if they become party to attempts made to dilute our special status.”

“Abrogation of special status (Article 35A) is direct attack on autonomy of the Jammu and Kashmir”, he said while hitting out at PDP-BJP government for implementing agenda of the RSS “as they are hell bent to do away with Article 370 which gives JK special status in the country.”

“The wound inflicted on the state’s autonomy through extension of GST is still fresh as another new machination has been launched to question the validity of Article 35A now,” he said

The Valley-based business community has already cautioned government over abrogation of Article 35-A. They have threatened to launch agitation if the special status of J&K is tinkered with or any attempts are made to dilute the autonomy of J&K in the constitution.

The Article 35-A was extended to J&K through ‘Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order issued by President Rajendra Prasad on May 14, 1954. It was specifically devised to grant protection to state subject laws that had already been defined under the Maharaja’s rule and notified in 1927 and 1932. The Supreme Court, which is hearing the Article 35A petition, has referred the matter to a three-judge bench last month and set a six-week deadline for its final disposal.

The demand for abrogation has evoked strong opposition in J&K, with Mehbooba herself issuing a stern warning to government of India last month over any tinkering with Article 35-A, saying there would not be nobody left to hoist tri-colour in Kashmir if it is done.

Legal experts have cautioned that if the Article 35-A is scrapped, J&K will lose all the special privileges including the state subject law, right to property, right to employment, and right to settlement.