Srinagar: An unprecedented shutdown was observed across Kashmir Valley as well as in Pir Panjal region against a plea filed by an RSS backed NGO in the Supreme Court of India seeking abrogation of Article 35A which confers special rights on J&K’s permanent residents.
The call for shutdown was issued by Joint Resistance Leadership against “assault” on state’s special status and “efforts” to abrogate Article 35-A.
Reports of complete shutdown poured in from all the districts of Central, North and South Kashmir. All the shops and business establishments’ remianed shut while educational institutions also remained closed. Majority of the government offices were deserted, though there was a bank holiday on Saturday.
Undeclared restrictions were imposed in restive parts of old Srinagar city. Eyewitnesses told news agency CNS heavy contingent of Para-military troopers had been deployed in downtown Srinagar to stop possible protests.
Witnesses said that some parts of civil lines areas including Jawahar Nagar and Raj Baght where shopkeepers usually observe partial shutdown also witnessed complete shutdown. The roads wore a deserted look in most parts of Srinagar city.
Scores of traders staged a protest and marched through city centre Lal Chowk against the attempts to abrogate Article 35A. The traders led by Kashmir Economic Alliance Chairman Muhammad Yousuf Chapri assembled here in Press Enclave Srinagar and later on carried out a march that culminated at Clock Tower Lal Chowk. The protesting traders warned of serious consequences in case Article 35A is removed.
A complete shutdown was also observed in Budgam and Ganderbal districts of Central Kashmir where shops and educational institutions remained completely shut.
The shutdown completely disrupted normal life in four districts of South Kashmir including Islamabad, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian. Same reports poured in from North Kashmir’s districts of Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara. The main roads of these district headquarters wore a deserted look.
Complete shutdown was also observed in important town of Kashmir Valley including Pampore, Tral, Kakapora, Awantipora, Bijbehara, Qazigund, Dooru, Pahalgam, Kangan, Pakharpora, Charar-e-Sharif, Sumbal, Hajin, Ajas, Safapora, Pattan, Tangmarg, Rafiabad and Sopore.
Shutdown was also observed in Chenab Valley of Jammu region, where Anjuman Islamia Bhadarwah, Markazi Seerat Committee Doda, Anjuman Islamia Gandoh, Masjid Committee Thathri and Majlis-e-Shoura Kishtwar had issued a bandh call.
Reports said that Doda, Gandoh and Thathri also observed complete shutdown on the band call.
Traders protest against attempts to abrogate Article 35A
Scores of traders staged a protest and marched through city centre Lal Chowk against the attempts to abrogate Article 35A.
The traders led by Kashmir Economic Alliance Chairman Muhammad Yousuf Chapri assembled here in Press Enclave Srinagar and later on carried out a march that culminated at Clock Tower Lal Chowk. They were carrying placards and banners seeking protection of special status.
The protesting traders warned of serious consequences in case Article 35A is removed.
“It is a sinister move aimed at to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir where Muslims are in majority. There is a dire need to get united and face the judicial onslaught on our special status,” Chapri told CNS.
Pertinently, an RSS backed NGO has filed a petition in the Supreme Court of India challenging Article 35A, that debars non-state subjects from buying land or getting a government job in Jammu and Kashmir.
Any measure to undermine the disputed nature of J&K resisted will be opposed and resisted at all cost: JRL
Joint Resistance Leadership comprising of Syed Ali Geelani , Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik said that any measure to undermine the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir or aimed at changing the demographic character of the state that has a direct bearing on our Right to self determination guaranteed by the Indian state at the UN ,and ratified by the world body itself, will be resisted and opposed by the people of Kashmir at all cost. They said the complete strike observed across the length and breadth of Kashmir and in Chenab valley Kistwar Doda and other areas clearly bears this out . JRL said for the last seven decades and particularly in the last three decades people of Kashmir and the leadership with the full support of people in Chenab valley Kishtwar Doda and accross to Kargil are engaged in a political struggle based upon the principle of truth and justice to resolve the political conflict raging in the region since the partition of the subcontinent. People have been greatly sacrificing and tirelessly striving for their just cause which the world acknowledges but GOI does not want to accept and hence there is an all out assault and suppression against the people of Kashmir from all quarters by the GoI in collaboration with their local allies.
JRL said whether it is the daily killing of people especially the youth , critically injuring those protesting oppression or arbitrary arrest of youth and slapping them with PSA or the targeting of leadership through NIA/ED or intimidating civil society members and writers ,all means are being adopted to crush the people’s political movement . And on the other hand there is an all out effort by the GoI towards assimilation of JK into the Indian union through eroding its special status and changing its demographic composition.
JRL said that people have to be very cautious and vigilant to these machinations adopted against them and their political movement and have to safeguard the sacrifices made by fellow Kashmiries for the just political and humanitarian cause. (CNS)