Abid Hussain

Article 35A row: Lawyers, traders stage protest in Budgam town

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'Attempts to abrogate Art 35A, blatant onslaught on Kashmiryat'

Budgam, Aug 04: Demanding dismissal of the petition that challenges constitutional validity of Article 35-A, the District Bar Association Budgam and Traders Union Tower Chowk, Budgam, led strong protests here in the township on Saturday.

Raising pro-freedom and pro-Article 35-A slogans, the lawyers marched from district court complex to Main Chowk, where they were joined by locals.

While addressing the gathering at old bus stand here, senior lawyers informed the public about ramifications of abrogating Article 35A that confers special rights to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir. “Our identity is being threatened. All the official positions meant for Kashmiris will be occupied by non-locals. Our land and houses will be taken away, Ghulam Ahmad Niyazi, a senior lawyer told the gathering.

Mir Hafizullah, an advocate said that people are ready to shed their blood for protecting the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and would not surrender.  “We aren’t Punjabis (Referring to the Khalistan movement in Punjab that was crushed in 1980s). We won’t surrender. We have given one lakh sacrifices; we won’t hesitate to render more sacrifices.”

Another lawyer, Wahid Ali said that attempts to abrogate Article 35A is an onslaught on Kashmiryat. “Kashmiriyat is in danger. If 35A is abrogated then our future generations will not be identified as Kashmiris.”

The lawyers appealed people to come forward and protect the Article. “It’s imperative upon the people to raise their voice against the abrogation of Article 35A.”

Earlier, dozens of traders under the banner of ‘Traders Union Tower Chowk, Budgam’ also staged a protest against the attempts to scrap Article 35A.

The demonstrators said that government of India is now trying to amend or scrap Article 35A after it abrogated the main provisions of Article 370.

“We won’t let it happen. We won’t allow government to amend or Abrogate Article 35A,” said a protester, Imran Hussain.

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