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27 biz bodies join hands to protect Article 35 A

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Extend support to 2-day strike call of JRL

Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar: The representatives of 27 Kashmir-based trade and industry bodies on Monday joined hands to oppose any attempts made to abrogate Article-35 A and dilute the special status enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.

The trade bodies appealed the Supreme Court to dismiss the petitions challenging the validity of Article 35-A saying “fiddling with the constitutional provision would be catastrophic”.

Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, the trade leaders extended their support to the two-day strike call issued by the Joint Resistance Leadership on August 5 and 6.

The Supreme Court will on August 6 hear the petitions challenging the Article 35-A which defines permanent residents of the state.

Stating that Article 35-A was enacted in the constitution of India in the year 1954 and since then several petitions were filed by different groups and individuals to challenge this Act, the trade leaders said  that all such petitions would get dismissed before their admission by the Supreme Court because of the prompt and appropriate defense by successive Governments at New Delhi.

“But,” they said, “This time the Government of India has bizarrely  declined to defend their own provision of the constitution as it has not filed any counter to the said PIL”.

Saying that the purpose behind this PIL is devious to change the demographic character of Jammu Kashmir and alter the nature of dispute that is internationally recognized, the leaders said that since the resistance against the attempted onslaught is very much justified, the hereditary state subject law of Jammu and Kashmir shall be protected at any cost even on the lives of the citizens and no tampering with this law would ever be tolerated.

Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Forum (KTMF) president, Muhammad Yasin Khan while addressing the press conference said: “It will be an an open war if Centre scraps the Article 35-A. It is a matter of life and death for us and we are ready to shed our blood to safeguard it.”

Khan who is also chairman of Kashmir Economic Alliance alleged that the government was using ‘dirty tactics’ to take away ‘our special status.’

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