For First Time, A Kashmir Shutdown In Support Of Indian Constitution

Claudine Rigal
Août 13, 2017

As the Supreme Court debates the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the state Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, on Friday, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking help against attempts to alter the Article 35 A that gives the princely a special status.

"The apprehension expressed by the Chief Electoral Officer that there may be reluctance on the part of the polling personnel to go to the polling locations, in view of the fear in their minds with regard to their safety and security is also a matter of concern", the May 1 EC order had said.

It was this very reason that Article 370 which gives special status to the state was also kept temporary.

Ironically, while the PDP is a strong votary of continuing with the special status, its ruling partner the BJP contested elections on the plank that it would revoke the constitutional position for Jammu and Kashmir's complete integration with the rest of India.

Article 35A was added to the Constitution by a presidential order in 1954, it said.

"We demand that the rights of all the people of all the three regions-Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh-should be protected and there should be no discrimination". The NC's provincial president claimed that "Jammu Dogras would be the main sufferers if Article 35A is scrapped".

The memorandum passed by the civil society states that the organization will establish contacts with civil society groups across India and apprise them about the inherent grave dangers and consequences of the proposed abrogation of Article 35A by New Delhi.

She said that Prime Minister 's approach was constructive. But before that, the Centre and state government should clear their stand on the issue, he added.

Mehbooba Mufti warned that any tinkering with Article 35 (A) would worsen the situation in the state when it was normalizing.

"If 35 (A) is repealed then the Article 370 will also be weakened", said Rana.

The BJP, which is in power in the state in alliance with the PDP, also did not support Article 35A.

He said New Delhi was "using judiciary" to appease Hindu fundamentalists but in the process the country's own constitution was getting weakened and leading to hatred in the relations between the people of Jammu Kashmir and people of India.

It has been 70 years since Article 370 was imposed on J&K. It leads to the violation of the right of a woman to "marry a man of her choice". Rasheed has accused "her of being apologetic, untruthful and unrealistic during her meeting with PM Narinder Modi".

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