Mendhar town of Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir observed a complete shutdown in support of Article 35A on Saturday. The call for shutdown was given by National Conference against “overt and covert attempts by the BJP” to repeal Article 35A of the Constitution, which gives special rights to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
As per a local news agency, CNS, all the shops and business establishments remained shut while transport also remained off the roads.
A protest rally was organized by National Conference (NC) that was led by party leader Javaid Rana. The protesting NC workers raised slogans in support of Article 35A.
“Impairing this provision will amount to weakening the strong bonds between the state and India,” Rana said and cautioned the BJP against “any misadventure” on the matter.
Addressing the protesters, he said tinkering with this special provision would be fought “tooth and nail” by the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh divisions, as “such a move (abrogation of Article 35A) can jeopardise their economic interests and deprive the youth of their share in jobs among other things.”
Pertinently, an RSS backed NGO has moved the Supreme Court seeking abrogation of the provision. The plea said the state government, under the guise of Article 35A and Article 370, which grants special autonomous status to the state, has been discriminating against non-residents who are debarred from buying properties, getting a government job or voting in the local elections. The apex court will hear the matter on August 30.(CNS)