JAMMU, Aug 6: The activists of Dogra Front and two Shiv Sena factions held protest demonstrations opposing continuation of Art 35-A in the State while Panun Kashmir and some other bodies have described this Article as abusive of the human and fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.
The workers of Dogra Front and Shiv Sena under the leadership of its president, Ashok Gupta took out a procession in Jammu city by wearing black clothes registering their protest and describing Article 35A as a `Kala Kanoon’ .
Gupta stated that Article 35A was not added to the Constitution by following the procedure prescribed for amendment of the Constitution of India under Article 368. Article 370 does not anywhere confer on the President, Legislative or Executive powers so vast that he can amend the Constitution or perform the function of Parliament. It has been brought about by the executive organ when actually the right of amendment of the Constitution lies with the legislative organ.
Besides carrying out many modifications and changes, this order ‘added’ a new “Article 35A” to the Constitution of India. Addition or deletion of an Article amounted to an amendment to the Constitution which could be done only by Parliament as per procedure laid down in Article 368. But, Article 35A was never presented before Parliament, he added.
Gupta said Article 35A violates the Article 14 for the equality of the law. If any woman from J&K marries outside her state, all her rights in the state ends and then she cannot claim any kind of benefit. He further stated that it facilitates the free and unrestrained violation of fundamental rights of those workers and settlers like Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe people who have lived there for generations.
Shiv Sena Hindustan National vice president, Pt Rajesh Kesri has strongly advocated the removal of Article 35A from the Constitution of India. He said the common people of Jammu Kashmir, the poor, no one is benefitting from Article 370 or Article 35A – whether they are Hindus or Muslims. It is only vested interests, the elite, who have been benefitting these provisions. So called ‘experts’ are misleading the people by advocating for Article 370,” Kesri said, reiterating that it is high time for this law to go. Kesri strongly maintained that Articles 35A violates the rights of a large section of society residing in the state. He said Article 35A should be seen as a danger signal for the nation.
Panun Kashmir in its Executive Council meet held today at Jammu discussed the current socio-political scenario of the state in context of the debate on the issues like Art35A, Rohangya and Bangladeshi illegal immigrants and warnings issued by the West Bengal Chief Minister.
The meeting was presided over by Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, its president. Virender Raina, chairman, Political Affairs Committee, JLKaul, vice president, Upinder Kaul and others also attended.
Ashwani Chrungoo in his address said that the Kashmir centric parties have again raised a controversy for their political survival and thus started talking about the so-called special status of the J&K State. The Art 35A coupled with Art370 has been nourishing the sentiment of separation for the last several decades in the state and has been abusive of the human and fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution. While Art35A is in contravention of the Article 14, Article 15 and Article 16 of the Constitution of India, it has also been introduced through the back door without its reference to the Parliament for approval. The Article is gender biased and retrograde.
The Kashmiri Pandits as the indigenous people of Kashmir are the worst hit by the Article 35A which was introduced in 1954 through a promulgation of the President of India. Since it has been put to the legal scrutiny in the Supreme Court of India, any protest against its hearing is tantamount to pressurizing the Apex Court on the issue. Moreover, the forces who have been opposing the constitution of India in the J&K State all along have no reason to be concerned about the existence or abrogation of Article 35A.
Virender Raina said that Panun Kashmir expresses serious concern over the threats carried out by the elected West Bengal Chief Minister in context of the Bangladeshi illegal immigrants’ detection and deportation. These threats have potential to create social discord and communal disharmony. The politically volatile issues need to be responded with seriousness. The issue of Rohingyas is also an issue that needs attention of the nation.
Meanwhile, Movement for Peace & Justice, led by Ram Singh Chouhan has alleged that Kashmir centric political parties and leaders were playing politics and befooling the people on Art 35-A and 370. He alleged that these leaders do not talk of strengthening of Panchayats, ensuring better development and tackle other basic issues. He said they speak different language when in power and totally different when out of power. He cautioned the people to remain aware from such leaders.