Article 35A row: Separatists call for strike in Kashmir

As tension is growing in Kashmir amid fears that Supreme Court may revoke Article 35-A, separatists on Tuesday called for shutdown on February 13 and 14 to protest and resist the “late announcement and ambiguity over the dates of hearing on 35-A.”
 
The separatist trio Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Mailk called for a complete shutdown to protest and resist this “viscous move” and threatened a mass agitation if any adverse order is announced.
 
The Supreme Court (SC) is scheduled to hear a number of writ petitions challenging Article 35A, a law which bars people from outside the state from acquiring any immovable property in the restive Himalayan state.
 
“(Separatist) leadership said that they understand that frequent shutdowns add to the hardship already experienced by people as a result of occupation, but it is imperative to register our strong protest in the wake of such threatening measures by the Indian state,” a Hurriyat spokesperson said in a statement.
 
They claimed people of Jammu and Kashmir will “forcefully resist every challenge by New Delhi to change the demography of the State by rolling back hereditary state subject laws of 1927, which is being contested in the Supreme Court of India through their agents.”
 
The state government, which is currently led by Governor Satya Pal Malik, has filed an application before the Registrar of the Supreme Court, informing that it is going to seek adjournment of the hearing of the petition.
 
Standing Counsel for Jammu and Kashmir, Shoeb Alam submitted the application for adjournment stating that since there was presently no elected government in the state, the hearing may be deferred.  On August 31 last year, the apex court had adjourned the hearing till second week of January on the request of the state government
 
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.
 
Protests have been held across the length and breadth of Kashmir over the last six months with mainstream parties like the National Conference and PDP also holding rallies in support of continuing Article 35-A.
 
In 2014, a little-known Delhi based NGO "We the Citizens" filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking that Article 35-A should be abrogated while arguing that the provision was “unconstitutional” and approved without any debate in the Parliament.

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Article 35A row: Separatists call for strike in Kashmir

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