Second day of strike in Kashmir, Chenab Valley over Art 35-A


Image:  PTI

Image: PTI

Life in Kashmir and Chenab valley remained affected today for the second consecutive day due to a shutdown called by separatists against the legal challenge in the Supreme Court on the validity of Article 35A.

The apex court today adjourned hearing on constitutional validity of the Article, saying one of the three judges on the bench was not present.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar said the matter has to be heard by a three-judge bench and Justice D Y Chandrachud, a part of the bench, was not in court.

The bench also said a three-judge bench has been hearing the case and will consider whether it has to be referred to a larger bench.

The top court listed the matter for hearing in the week commencing August 27.

Article 35A, incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, confers special status to the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir, and bars people from outside the state from acquiring any immovable property in the state.

Image: PTI

Image: PTI

The two-day strike was given by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) — comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik.

Various organisations, including the state bar association, transporters and traders’ bodies have extended support to the shutdown call.

Protests have been held across the length and breadth of Kashmir over the past few days, with mainstream parties like the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also holding rallies in support of continuing Article 35A.

Educational institutions, shops and business establishments remained closed across the valley today, while all kinds of transport remained off the roads due to the strike.

Officials said the security forces have been deployed at vulnerable places in the city and elsewhere in Kashmir for maintaining law and order. The situation across the valley is peaceful with no untoward incident reported from anywhere so far today, they said.

Stone-pelting incidents were reported from some places yesterday, with six people getting injured in Kulgam district in a clash between protesters and security forces.

There were reports of partial strike and peaceful rallies in support of the Article 35-A from the Chenab valley districts of Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar.

Various religious and social organisations have given the two-day strike to “safeguard” the constitutional provision.

Image: PTI

Image: PTI

The Amarnath yatra remained suspended for the second consecutive day today from here as a precautionary measure in view of the strike.

As a security measure, the yatra has been suspended for the second day today, police said.

Authorities have suspended the traffic from Jammu to Srinagar on the national highway in the wake of the strike, they said.

Article-35A was incorporated in the Constitution in 1954 by an order of president Rajendra Prasad on the advice of the then Jawaharlal Nehru Cabinet.

It empowers the state legislature to frame any law without attracting a challenge on the grounds of violation of the right to equality of people from other states or any other right under the Constitution.