Ahead of SC hearing on 35A, separatist leaders call for two-day Kashmir strike

A statement issued by Joint Resistance Leadership has called for complete shutdown and protests in Kashmir on August 26 and 27.

india Updated: Aug 19, 2018 10:12 IST
Mir Ehsan
Mir Ehsan
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Kashmir shutdown,Article 35A,Kashmir separatists
A Kashmiri woman walks in front of the Jamia Masjid grand mosque on the second day of strikes called by Kashmiri separatists in downtown Srinagar on August 6, 2018. (AFP File Photo)

Ahead of the next hearing in the Supreme Court on Article 35A, separatist leaders have called for a two day-long strike in Kashmir from August 26 and threatened to launch a mass agitation in case the constitutional provision relating to the state is struck down.

Majority of people in Kashmir feel that Centre is deliberately trying to tinker the special status of J&K and efforts are being made to remove the Article 35A as the National Governmental Organisation (NGO) which had filed a petition at Supreme Court for abolishing the Article 35A is being supported by the BJP.

A statement issued by Joint Resistance Leadership, comprising hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani, moderate Hurriyat Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik has called for complete shutdown and protests in Kashmir on August 26 and 27. The Supreme Court had fixed date for hearing of the case on August 27.

‘’If any adverse decision comes from the Supreme Court of India on August 27, a mass agitation will be launched forthwith. People are mentally and physically ready to hit the streets and the leadership is also geared up to protest and defend it (Article 35A) at every cost as it is a matter of our very existence,’’ said the Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

Calling for mobilisation at all level especially at the grass roots level of ‘masjid’ and ‘mohalla’ committees needs to be undertaken to launch a mass agitation with full force, he said, adding that every person needs to “play his role and remain ready to defend their very existence”.

J&K Governor NN Vohra had earlier sought deferment of the case till a government is in place and had written a letter to home minister Rajnath Singh in this regard.

The issue has brought together leaders of both the separatist outfits and almost all the mainstream parties in accusing the BJP for trying to remove Article 35A,

Apart from separatists and mainstream political parties, civil society groups, trade bodies and lawyers have also warned of mass agitation in Kashmir on the issue.

Former J&K chief minister and the Peoples Democratic Party president, Mehbooba Mufti has asked former state deputy chief minister Muzzuffar Hussain Baig and former state law minister, Abdul Haq Khan, to remain present in the Supreme Court on the date of hearing and chalk out a strategy to defend Article 35A.

First Published: Aug 18, 2018 21:04 IST