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NC, PDP take out protest rallies in support of Article 35A

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Srinagar, Aug 04: Two regional majors National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today took out separate protest rallies here ahead of the August 06 Supreme Court hearing on petitions challenging Article 35A of the Constitution, which confers special status to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

The apex court is hearing a batch of petitions in the matter, including the one filed by an RSS-linked NGO ‘We the Citizens’, seeking quashing of the article.

NC’s Legislator from Khanyar Ali Mohammad Sagar led over a hundred of party workers, carrying banners and placards, from the NC headquarters Nawai-e-Subah to Sher-e-Kashmir Park here.

One of the banners read, “If there are no Articles 35A and 370, then there is no accession (of Jammu and Kashmir to India)”.

The protestors tried to march towards the city centre Lal Chowk but were stopped by police from doing so.

Speaking during the protest march, senior NC leader and party’s additional general Secretary, Dr. Sheikh Mustafa Kamal pressed for the resolution of Kashmir issue according to the UN resolutions.

He said the issue which is lingering for the past sixty years needs a permanent political solution according to the resolutions passed by the United Nations.

“Article 35A is the bridge between India and state of Jammu and Kashmir, what remains if the bridge collapses. All this is being done to merge the state with India permanently which is impossible as the state’s merger with Union of India is temporary,” he added.

The PDP also took out a rally from its office near the Sher-e-Kashmir Park. Led by PDP general secretary Nizamuddin Bhat and MLC Khursheed Alam, the protesters marched towards Lal Chowk but were stopped by the police.

PDP chief spokesman Rafi Ahmad Mir on the occasion said that removal of Article 35A will prove disastrous.

“I feel contended for unambiguous stand taken by political parties, civil society groups, traders and others against the onslaught on the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. We on behalf of the party also participated in round table conference held in Srinagar to find ways to protect Article 35A,” said Mir.

He said tinkering with Article 35A in any manner will create catastrophic situation in the state.

“It’s a matter of contentment that people from Jammu province including lawyers have realized the sensitivity of the issue and have extended their full support to protect Article 35A. Any attempt which harms the Article will prove disastrous,” PDP leader added.

A traders’ body also held a demonstration here.

The separatists and mainstream leaders have called for dismissing the PIL before the Supreme Court.

The Jammu and Kashmir government yesterday approached the apex court seeking adjournment of the hearing, citing local body elections in the state.