India

Kashmir braces for shutdown ahead of Supreme Court hearing on Article 35A

The Supreme Court is hearing a batch of petitions seeking quashing of Article 35A of the Constitution which confers special status to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

Srinagar: Kashmir is bracing for street protests and a two-day strike amid fears that Article 35A, which bars outsiders from owning property or getting jobs in the restive state, will be repealed when the Supreme Court hears a petition on Monday.

The National Conference (NC) and its arch rival PDP on Saturday took out separate protest rallies in Srinagar. The separatists and mainstream leaders have called for dismissing the PIL before the Supreme Court amid fears that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is planning to revoke the provision in an attempt to change the state’s demography.

Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) have given call for a two-day shutdown on Sunday and Monday across the state.

For the past three days, protests have been organised by various groups in different parts of the Valley as people fear that efforts are being made to remove the Article.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik led a protest demonstration at Residency Road in Srinagar soon after culmination of Friday prayers. Protesters carrying placards shouted pro-freedom slogans and warned of serious consequences if Article 35A is removed.

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