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Article 35 (A) :Traders, civil society groups support 2-day shutdown call

Srinagar, Aug 18: At least 28 Kashmir-based traders’ bodies and civil society groups on Saturday supported the Joint Hurriyat Leadership’s shutdown call over Article 35(A).

Vowing to fight for the protection of the Article, which has been challenged in the Supreme Court, representatives of traders, manufacturers, industrialists, hoteliers, transporters, tourism players, and farmers presented a united front in a press conference held here.

“It is not a legal issue. Courts have no jurisdiction to debate, discuss or review Article 35 A. It is a constitutional Act and cannot be challenged in any court,” civil society member and columnist Abdul Majid Zargar, told the media.

“We appeal the Supreme Court to dismiss the petitions filed with mischievous intentions and mala fide designs. It is a sacred commitment, which actually flows from Article 370 by the Indian state to the people of Kashmir”.

Zargar said, “India has flouted its own internationally-committed promise of plebiscite, and fraudulently extended laws on Kashmir beyond the purview of subject Article 370.”

He said if Narendra Modi was honest in his deeds and words about embracing the people  of Kashmir, it becomes incumbent upon him to either get this petition by the RSS-backed organisation withdrawn from the court or to defend his own constitutional provision in the SC.

The representatives of the business fraternity and other organisations told reporters that they would support the shutdown call of Joint Hurriyat on August 26 and 27.

They announced a protest programme that would begin Sunday.

The Joint Hurriyat has urged people to observe complete strike on August 26 and 27 and to prepare for a mass agitation in case there was any adverse ruling from the apex court.

Earlier, Kashmir and parts of Jammu observed a complete shutdown on August 5 and 6, when Article 35(A) petition was to be heard by the Supreme Court.

However, the court adjourned the hearing and deferred it to August 27.

The bodies coming in support of Article 35 (A)  include Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kashmir Economic Alliance, KTMY (Y), KEA (F), KTMF (B), All Traders and Transporters Coordination Committee (West Zone), Batamaloo Traders Association, FCIK (M), JKSECC, KEF, KCSDS, KMD, KHARA, J&K Hoteliers Club, Rehabilitation Alliance Kashmir,  JKCCC,  J&K JCCOPS, Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Dealers Union, Western Bus Service,  Haji Peer Transport Company,  Western Motor Transport Company, New Kashmir Transport Company, Star Transport Company,  Tourist Taxi Operators Association, Joint Coordination Committee of Taxi Association Parimpora, All Kashmir Auto Rickshaw Drivers, CCIK, and Houseboat Owners Association.

They demanded initiation of talks with the stakeholders for “final settlement of (Kashmir) dispute instead of using militaristic approach to delay the issue”.