Article 35A: Strike cripples life in Valley for 2nd day

Police and paramilitary CRPF were deployed in huge numbers in areas placed under restrictions and also at other vulnerable other parts of the Valley. Reuters file photo

Normal life in Kashmir remained crippled for the second consecutive day on Friday due to the strike called by separatists to voice support for Article 35A, which bars non-state residents from buying land and applying in various government jobs in the state.

The Supreme Court, which heard a string of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A, adjourned the hearing till second week of January.

Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), a conglomerate of separatists headed by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik, had called for a shutdown on Thursday and Friday to highlight support for Article 35A.

The strike call evoked an exemplary response on both the days as normal life across Kashmir remained crippled.

Shops, business establishments, educational institutions and offices remained closed across the Valley for the second day while all kinds of transport remained off the roads due to the strike.

The strike was also observed in Jammu region’s Chenab Valley that includes Poonch, Rajouri, Doda and Banihal.

Fearing protests, authorities 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 parts of the Valley.

The Jammu and Kashmir 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, 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.

The separatists have termed the PIL as a move to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir and to change the Muslim majority character of the state.

Protests have been held across the length and breadth of Kashmir over the past weeks with mainstream parties like the National Conference (NC) and the PDP holding rallies in support of Article 35A.

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Article 35A: Strike cripples life in Valley for 2nd day

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