SRINAGAR/ JAMMU, Aug 4: Major political parties of the State including National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today took out separate protest rallies against the petition in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of Article 35-A of the constitution.
A large number of party workers led by their leaders protested against the attempts to dilute the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
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The protest rally of NC led by its general secretary and MLA Khanyar, Ali Muhammad Sagar took out from the party office to Sher-e-Kashmir Park.
Speaking on the occasion, Sagar said that an assault on Article 35-A was a direct interference in the State’s special status and won’t be tolerated at any cost. “All political, social and religious organizations of the State are united in their resolve to fight against these ploys and J&K National Conference will fight this battle from the front lines. We have filed an intervention plea in the Supreme Court asking to be included as respondents to the petition challenging Article 35-A,” he said.
The protesters later tried to march towards Lal chowk but a posse of policemen stood guard and did not allowed them to march further.
The PDP also took out a protest rally from its office here led by general secretary, Nizamuddin Bhat and MLA Khursheed Alam with various party workers against attempts to revoke the special status of the state.
The protesters vowed to offer any sacrifice that may eventually be required to protect state’s special position. “This is our right and we don’t want it to be revoked. If these provisions are in the Constitution of India from past 60 years, why are they scrapping it. We will not tolerate any move which will be against state’s special status,” the protesters said.
Meanwhile, the members of tourism trade fraternity also held a protest demonstration here against the tinkering with Article 35-A.
“This is a backbone between J&K and rest of the India. The scrapping of Article 35-A from the Constitution of India will not be acceptable,” the protesting traders said.
Meanwhile, Ramban unit of National Conference took out a protest march here today against the petitions in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of Article 35-A of the Constitution which grants special status to permanent residents of the State.
The march was lead by district president Ramban, Sajjad Shaheen and was carried out from main bus stand Ramban to Boli Bazar in the heart of the town and concluded at Dak Banglow, Ramban and was attended by a large number of party functionaries and workers. Former MLA Ramban Dr Chaman Lal Bhagat, district secretary Mohd Arif Mir, Mohd Afzal Wani and Arjun Singh Raju also addresed the gathering.
Meanwhile, All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) expressed resentment over attempts being made to abrogate Article 35-A.
APSCC chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina in a statement said that majority of the people of Jammu & Kashmir want that no dilution of Article 35-A takes place and a handful want the Article 35 to go adding that people would give a befitting reply to the fringe group. “People irrespective of caste, colour, religion and region have voiced their resentment over the attempts being made to abrogate Article 35-A. People of Jammu & Kashmir have a distinct identity and they cannot compromise about it,” said Raina.