Article 35-A: Kashmir traders hold sit-in against attempts to abrogate State Subject Law

Srinagar: The Kashmir Traders and Manufactures Federation(KTMF) and Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) members on Sunday held a sit-in protest at Ghanta Ghar (clock tower) Lal Chowk here to protest the attempts to scrap Article 35-A.

The KTMF  and FCIK members arrived at the historic Lal Chowk while carrying placards and banners.

Over 27 traders’ body have already issued a week-long protest programme against the legal challenge in the Supreme Court on the validity of Article 35-A, which bars people from outside Jammu and Kashmir from acquiring any immovable property in the state.

People across the political and regional divide have come together to protest against attempts to revoke Article 35-A of the Indian Constitution which empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.

The state government employees, trade unions, business associations, civil society groups and lawyers have threatened to go on protest if the special constitutional position of the state is compromised.

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On Friday, PDP President and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that fiddling with the State’s special status would have ‘catastrophic ramifications’ for the entire country.

For the last one week, there have been series of protests as clamour is growing to retain Article 35A. Sensing trouble, the state government headed by Governor NN Vohra has requested the Supreme Court to delay the case till local body and panchayat elections due in October.

A complete shutdown is being observed across Kashmir following a shutdown call by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) to protest against attempts to abrogate of Article 35 A.

All business establishments, government, and private offices are closed, while transport remained off the roads.

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Earlier, JRL had called for a shutdown in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 and 6 to register their total disapproval and resistance to the “politically motivated” move of abrogation of Article 35-A.

In Jammu too, the call was responded to.

Protests were held amid a complete shutdown in Ramban district of Jammu against attempt to abrogate Article 35-A, which bars outsiders from buying land in the state.

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Shutdown is also being observed in Banihal, Khari and Gool areas of the district. Shops and other commercial establishments are closed while traffic is off the roads.

Markets in Banihal on the highway and in adjoining villages of Nowgam, Tethar, Chareel Kaskoot and Dooligam are also closed.

In Gool, scores of men held a protest against any move to tinker with the constitutional provision.

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