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Separatists call shutdown on Aug 26, 27 against legal challenge to Article 35-A

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Srinagar, Aug 17: Separatists today called for shutdown in Jammu and Kashmir on August 26 and 27 to protest against petitions challenging the validity of Article 35-A.

In a statement, issued here today, the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) said two-day complete protest shutdown will be observed across the length and breadth of the state on 26th and 27th of August when the case is coming up for hearing in the Supreme Court.

“In case any untoward decision is given by the Supreme Court, a mass state-wide agitation will commence therein, the consequences of which will be direct responsibility of the Indian state for instigating people to it,” the JRL said in the statement.

“Till 27th of August protest programmes against tinkering with the law will be held by all segments of society, details of which will be announced in a joint press conference,” JRL said.

The JRL comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik said that efforts to reach out to all regions and sections of the state on this critical issue from Chenab valley to Kargil will continue.

Meanwhile, JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik led a protest in Srinagar today against the petitions challenging validity of Article 35-A.

Soon after the culmination of Friday prayers, scores of separatist activists led by Malik held a protest at Madina Chowk Maisuma.

Speaking on the occasion, Malik appealed to the people to make every programme announced by the JRL successful over the issue of Article 35-A.

He said JRL will consult Kashmiri traders and other associations and unions and will chalk out a programme for August 27.

Addressing the Friday congregation at historic Jamia Masjid, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also said that if any adverse decision comes from the Supreme Court on August 27, a mass agitation will be launched forthwith.

He said that people of Jammu and Kashmir were mentally and physically ready to hit the streets in such a case.

“…people and leadership are geared up to protest and defend it at every cost as it is a matter of our very existence.”

“Mobilisation at all levels, including at the grassroots level of Masjid and Mohalla committees, needs to be undertaken to launch a mass agitation with full force which is being done,” said the Mirwaiz.

He said every person has to play his role and be ready to defend their “very existence.”

The Supreme Court of India is hearing a bunch of PILs challenging Article 35-A. In the week starting August 27, the court will decide whether the matter should be referred to a constitutional bench.

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