For First Time, A Kashmir Shutdown In Support Of Indian Constitution

Mehbooba Mufti said any attempt to fiddle with Article 35 (A) - which empowers state legislators to define permanent residents and extend voting, jobs and inheritance rights to them - will have a negative impact in the state that has a "peculiar diversity where everything is different".

The meeting comes in the backdrop of the debate on Article 35A of the Constitution that grants special status to the state and is being challenged in the Supreme Court.

Professor Hamida Nayeem said, "We know the logical agenda of BJP and RSS as they want to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir". It has been a long standing demand of the BJP that the Article be removed.

Provincial president Devender Singh Rana announced a campaign to educate people about benefits of Article 35A with the inauguration of a seminar by party working president Omar Abdullah here on August 14. "The central government should tell the court that we are not going to touch the status of the articles, will deal the matter politically", he added. "It is void ab initio as it is not passed by Parliament, but has been extended to Jammu and Kashmir by virtue of a Presidential order", he said.

A complete shutdown is being observed in Indian-occupied Kashmir today (Saturday) against the Indian plans to abrogate Article 35A of Indian Constitution. The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, which was framed in 1956 retained the definitions of Permanent Residents in the 1927 and 1932 notifications.

Last month center was told by the supreme court to file a reply to writ petition within three weeks. The order was issued by the then President Rajendra Prasad on 14 May 1954 in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 370.

He said New Delhi was "using judiciary" to appease Hindu fundamentalists but in the process the country's own constitution was getting weakened and leading to hatred in the relations between the people of Jammu Kashmir and people of India. The BJP has historically opposed it and asked for the abolition of Article 370 and special status for the state.

She further said the basis of her PDP's alliance with the BJP is that the "status quo of 370 has to be maintained". "The Delhi-based media is projecting that by supporting Article 35A Kashmiris are being against rights of women etc". She added that Mr Modi "gave 100 per cent assurance on the agenda of alliance".

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