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Business fraternity vows to protect Art 35-A with blood; Supports joint Hurriyat’s shutdown call

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Srinagar, July 30: Business fraternity of Kashmir on Monday announced its protest programme from Tuesday to August 6 to defend Article 35-A to be heard by the Supreme Court.

Representatives from, at least, 27 associations including civil society, horticulturists, contractors and transporters jointly addressed a press conference demanding dismissal of the petition in the apex court.


Supporting the Joint Hurriyat Leadership’s call for strike on August 5 and 6, the fraternity said its various associations would also protest on different dates to deter any effort to harm Article 35-A.

“Any effort to tinker with the Act will prove regretful for the Government of India. We are ready even to spill our blood in order to protect the Act,” President Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF), Muhammad Yasin Khan, said.

Chief, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Javed Ahmad Tenga said “it will be a strategic protest programme in which many business associations will protest on different dates”.

Mubeen Shah, former president of the Chamber said New Delhi was “hand in glove with the RSS-backed NGO to abrogate Article 35-A”.

“Since 1954, several petitions were filed by different groups to challenge the Act, but they eventually got dismissed. However, this time the Government of India has refused to counter the PIL,” he said.

Shah said the purpose behind the PIL was to “change the demographic character of the state”.

“It is ultimately aimed to alter the nature of the internationally-recognised dispute. With the removal of this Act, the rights of original citizens of Jammu and Kashmir on their immovable property would be taken away. All Indians would establish their settlements here by pushing away the original citizens of J&K,” he said.

Civil society activist, Shakeel Qalander said the protest programme was equally supported by many associations from the Jammu region.

“We are supported by people from Chenab Valley and other parts of Jammu region. The issue this time is when all previous central government’s filed counter affidavits against any PIL previously to defend Article 35-A, why not by the current regime?,” he said.

“We will have to unite to get the nefarious PIL by the RSS-backed NGO dismissed. We announce our full support to the call of strike given by JRL,” Qalander said.

Jammu Chamber not to back Kashmir counterpart

Jammu, July 30: Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries Monday said they will not support the stand of its Kashmir counterpart in defending Article 35 A-that 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.

“We will not comment on the matter as it is subjudice. The Supreme Court verdict with regard to Article 35A will be in the interest of the State and its people,” President, Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Rakesh Gupta was quoted saying by news agency CNS.

Asked whether they will accept the decision, if Supreme Court annuls Article 35 A, Gupta said they will abide by the verdict of the court and accept it wholeheartedly.

“We work jointly with Kashmir Chamber on different issues but here our opinions differ. Neither we oppose the stand taken by our Kashmir counterpart on this issue nor do we support them. We have our own point of view with regard to Article 35A and we don’t subscribe to the stand and views of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries,” Gupta said.

Earlier, several Kashmir based business amalgams during a joint press briefing said that traders and other bodies from Chenab Valley and Pir Panchal Division have extended full support to them and they stand with the people of Kashmir on the issue. (CNS)


Abrogation it will lead to ‘civil war’ in Kashmir: Congress

Srinagar, July 30: State General Secretary of Pradesh Congress Committee and MLA Bandipora Usman Majid Monday said that if Article 35-A is scrapped, it will lead to “civil war” in Kashmir.

“If BJP and RSS think that this war will remain restricted to Kashmir, they are living in a fool’s paradise. It will engulf the whole of India,” he said.

He added that the Centre should not touch the special status of Kashmir.

“If they do, they will invite trouble for entire India and the region. Article 35A is our minimum right and we will not tolerate any attempt to fiddle with it,” he added

“We won’t allow anybody to fiddle with Article 35A. The state subject law should not be eroded at any cost. If the Constitutional provision is removed, it will provide fertile ground for neighbouring powers to intensify the war in Kashmir, which will then engulf the whole country. If Article 35A is abrogated, it will be economically detrimental to the people of State,” he added.