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Amid shutdown, Valley on edge ahead of Art 35 A hearing

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Strike observed in Poonch, Rajouri, Chenab Valley

Photo/Javed JKhan

Srinagar: Life in Kashmir came to a standstill today due to a complete shutdown called by separatists against the legal challenge in the Supreme Court on the validity of Article 35A, which bars people from outside Jammu and Kashmir from acquiring any immovable property in the state.

The situation across the valley, however, remained peaceful with no untoward incident reported from anywhere, officials said.

Shops, business establishments and educational institutions were closed across the Valley while all kinds of transport remained off the roads due to the strike.

The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) has called for a two-day strike — today and tomorrow — as Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a PIL challenging the validity of the Article 35A tomorrow.

Authorities had imposed restrictions in some parts of the city as a precautionary measure for maintaining law and order, the officials said.

They said the areas where restrictions under section 144 CrPC were imposed included police station Khanyar, Nowhatta, Maharajgunj, Safakadal, Rainawari, Maisuma and Kralkhud.

The security forces were deployed in strength at vulnerable places in the city and elsewhere in Kashmir for maintaining law and order.

Various organisations including Bar Association, transporters and traders’ bodies have extended support to the shutdown call of the JRL.

Protests have been held across the length and breadth of Kashmir over the past month in support of continuing Article 35-A.

Meanwhile, shutdown was observed in twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch of Pir Panjal region of Jammu and Kashmir against the attempts to abrogate Article 35-A.

In Poonch, most of the shops and business establishments remained closed as traffic remained mainly off the roads. The bandh was also observed in Mandi town.

Similarly, in Rajouri, most of the business establishments in main town and several other parts remained closed and traffic on the roads was very thin, reports reaching here said. Bandh also impacted normal life in Darhal, Thanamandi, and Budhal towns.

Reports of shutdown were also received from other districts of the Kashmir besides Chenab Valley areas of Doda, Bhaderwah, Banihal, Thathri, Gandoh and Kishtwar.

At Bahinal, a protest rally was organized and protesters vowed to defend the Article 35A at any cost.

Peerzada Sayeed reports from Karnah: Life in Karnah came to a standstill today due to a complete shutdown called by joint committe, an amalgam of various organisation against the legal challenge in the Supreme Court to the validity of Article 35A.

The situation across the subtown was peaceful with shops, business establishments and educational institutions closed, while all kinds of transport remained off the roads.

Protested were held at Tangdhar and a memorandum was presented to the Tehsildar Karnah saying any tampering with Article 35 A will be fought against.

The protest was lead by Civil Society’s chairman Peerzada SD Qureshi, all local political parties, Chairman Beopaar Mandal, Ab Rahim Mir, Chairman Tunnel Coordination Committee, Haji Wali Ahmad Qureshi, head of Bar association Karnah, Advocate Mehboob Alahi, Karnah Youth Society’s Charmian Adv Mohammad Shafi, Prof. Jahangir Danish – head of Bazm e adab and Sumo Union president, Ab. Majeed Mir.

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