Article 35A row: Life crippled in Kashmir due to strike

Srinagar: A security personnel stands guard at Lal Chowk during a two-day strike call given by separatist leaders to protest against the legal challenge to Article 35-A and Article 370 of the Constitution, which grant special privileges to Jammu and Kashm

Normal life in Kashmir remained crippled on Wednesday due to the strike called by separatists against a legal challenge in the Supreme Court on the validity of Article 35-A.

The two-day strike has been called by the separatists to support Article 35-A, a law which bars people from outside the state from acquiring any immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir. Article 35A has been challenged through a bunch of petitions in the apex court and the case is expected to come up for hearing from February 12 to February 14. 
 
Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik have urged the people to observe shutdown to protest and resist any move to change demographic nature of Jammu and Kashmir by scrapping hereditary state subject law guaranteed under Article 35-A of Indian Constitution.
 
State’s standing counsel Shoeb Alam has submitted before the Apex Court registry that it will seek adjournment when the case comes up for hearing.
 
On the first day of the strike, shops, business establishments and offices were closed across the Valley while all kinds of transport remained off the roads due to the strike.
 
Fearing protests, authorities had imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar and other sensitive areas of the Valley. Police and paramilitary CRPF were deployed in huge numbers in areas placed under restrictions and also at other vulnerable other parts of the Valley.
 
Intra-Kashmir train services remained suspended for today and tomorrow due to the prevailing situation, a senior railway official said. 
 
Protests have been held across the length and breadth of Kashmir over the past few months with mainstream parties like the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also holding rallies in support of continuing Article 35-A.
 
The J&K government, in its affidavit filed during the previous PDP-BJP government, had sought dismissal of the petition, reasoning the matter has already been settled by the top court. However, contrary to the expectations of J&K government, New Delhi has refused to take a stand on the issue and told the Court it wants a “larger debate” on the Article as part of the Indian constitution.

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Article 35A row: Life crippled in Kashmir due to strike

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