Strike against Jamaat ban, bid to tinker Article 35A hits normal life in Kashmir Valley
Normal life in the Valley was affected due to the strike called by trade bodies against the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami and alleged attempts to tinker with Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution.
Shops and business establishments remained closed in capital Srinagar and other district headquarters of the Valley. Traffic movement was also affected in many parts of the city.
However, shops selling essentials were open in some parts of the city owing to the shortage of day-to-day items following the closure of Jammu-Srinagar highway for some time.
The call for strike was given by representatives of the Kashmir Economic Alliance, Kashmiri Traders and Manufacturers Federation and the Transport Association to protest against the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami and attempts to ‘fiddle’ with the state’s special status guaranteed under Articles 370 and 35A.
Authorities deployed a large number of police and CRPF personnel at sensitive places to maintain law and order.
Almost all regional mainstream parties had expressed outrage after the Centre last week banned the Jamaat-e-Islami in Jammu and Kashmir for five years on the grounds that it was “in close touch” with militant outfits and was expected to “escalate secessionist movement” in the state.
The state government on Sunday clarified that schools, mosques and orphanages affiliated to the Jamaat-e-Islami had been kept outside the purview of the ban.
Meanwhile, the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, on Tuesday reiterated that any “tinkering with the state subject law through judicial route” would be resisted tooth and nail by the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“A petition challenging the Article 35A is again coming up for hearing in the Supreme Court on March 6 and 7. A high level delegation of the bar association, which has already reached Delhi, will be monitoring and defending it .The team will keep the leadership intimated and people will be likewise informed,” they said in a statement.
While Article 370 of the Constitution grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Article 35A empowers Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define state’s “permanent residents” and their special rights and privileges.