Article 35(A) Protection Is Getting Into A Mass Movement

SRINAGAR: As the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the petition challenging the Article 35(A) later this month, the apprehensions in Jammu and Kashmir have already graduated into a sort of a mass movement. Earlier, the reactions were seen Kashmir specific but now most of Chenab Valley and the Pir Panchal Valley has started getting restive.

Kashmir civil society members on an awareness campaign on Article 35(A). This picture is from Poonch

On Sunday, Employees Joint Action Committee organised a symbolic protest in the press enclave Srinagar. Abdul Qayoom Wani, who led the protest, accompanied a group of his leaders from various employee associations. They said they will not be mute spectators to any kind of tinkering with the Article that protects the distinct identity of Kashmir.

There is a lot of resentment against the possible judicial intervention. Earlier, NDTV reported that even police is getting restive over the issue.

The separatists led by Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) are spearheading a strike programme. They already sponsored two days strike and now, by the end of this month, most of the state will be on strike.

Now the protests on this issue are routine. On Eid, most of the Imam’s talked about this issue from the pulpits.

There is anger in sections of masses in Jammu too. “People have been completely misled and they think it will impact Kashmir only,” a senior politician from Jammu said. “Now when the case is explained to them, they say, they will become the immediate targets if the protection goes.”

A Srinagar based civil society group has started a long campaign to educate the people. Comprising Prof Hameeda Nayeem, Abdul Majid Zargar, Dr Mubin Shah and many others, the group has been touring across the state. Soon, after Eid, they started their awareness campaign from Shopian, then moved to Poonch, Surnkaote, and other places and were reported to be in Budgam now.

The civil society members invite the informed people of the respective places and tell them the details about the Article 35(A), its evolution, its importance and the crisis that Jammu and Kashmir can face if it is tinkered with.

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