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Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq warns of mass agitation as hearing on Article 35A’s validity nears

The Hurriyat chairman made the comments as the Supreme Court is set to hear on August 6 a petition challenging the validity of Article 35A of the Constitution.

india Updated: Jul 27, 2018 22:12 IST
Mir Ehsan
Mir Ehsan
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Hurriyat,Article 35A,Article 35A validity
Hurriyat Conference Chairperson Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the people of Kashmir are cautiously and carefully watching the events around the hearing on the Article 35A.(PTI File Photo)

Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday warned of massive agitation in Jammu and Kashmir if the special rights accorded to the state by the Constitution of India were taken away.

The Hurriyat chairman made the comments as the Supreme Court is set to hear on August 6 a petition challenging the validity of Article 35A of the Constitution. The Article empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provides special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.

Addressing the Friday congregation in the city’s Jamia Masjid, Farooq said that Kashmiri people have been fighting for their rights since 1931 against various powers in the state.

He said the people of Kashmir are cautiously and carefully watching the events around the hearing on the Article 35A.

“People of Kashmiris from all spheres of life will never take machinations against them lying low and will oppose them tooth and nail. The people of Kashmir will hit the streets and start agitation on the mass scale,” he said.

Mirwaiz accused the BJP and RSS plan of changing the demographic nature of Jammu and Kashmir by doing away with the state subject law and flooding it with people from outside and warned that changing Kashmir’s status will never be allowed.

“The resulting consequences will entirely be the responsibility of those who will force people to take drastic steps,” he said.

The hearing comes amidst the lack of an elected government in the state which was put under governor’s rule after the BJP pulled out of the coalition government with PDP.

During the PDP-BJP rule, then-chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, despite being in government, with BJP had promised to defend the Article 35A in Supreme Court. However, after Mufti resigned, many, including separatists and mainstream political parties, fear the state will not defend its case as the BJP and its ideological mentor RSS are opposed to it.

First Published: Jul 27, 2018 22:10 IST