JAMMU, Aug 6: National Conference and several other groups held protests across the Jammu region against attempts of repealing Article 35A by certain quarters while some towns in Doda, Ramban, Kishtwar, Rajouri and Poonch observed bandh as mark of protest in support of this article.
National Conference activists staged large protest near Raghunath Temple, Jammu supporting continuation of this constitutional provision, a manifestation of Maharaja Hari Singh’s Permanent Resident laws of 1927, which reflects the special identity of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The protest demonstration was held in the heart of the Capital city of Jammu, where protesters, carrying placards for retention of the Article 35A, torched effigies of the BJP. The party workers, led by District National Conference president Jammu Urban, Dharamveer Singh Jamwal, took out a procession from the Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan and held protests at Raghunath Bazar, raising slogans in favour of Article 35A.
Similar protests were held across the region with National Conference leaders taking the BJP head on for its duplicity and sinister designs of trampling the unique identity of the State, especially the Jammu region, irrespective of religion and caste, which will be hit most in the event of diluting Article 35A.
At Kalakote, the protests were led by former minister Ajay Sadhotra and Central Secretary Rachpal Singh. They assailed the BJP for trampling unique and special identity of the State in the Union of India, particularly compromising with the legitimate interests of the Jammu region that will ultimately face the brunt of the affluent business houses and influx of job usurpers of youth in the eventuality of weakening or repealing of Article 35A.
While leading protesters in Kishtwar, former minister Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo pledged that National Conference will fight tooth and nail the forces inimical to special identity of Jammu and Kashmir. He said the people of the State will unitedly fight the machinations of weakening the special status of the state.
At Doda, former minister Khalid Najeeb Suharwardhy led the protests and accused the BJP of indulging in hate politics. He said the people of Jammu, having unflinching faith in its inclusive ethos, will fight tooth and nail the divisive forces and offer any sacrifice for preserving the special identity of the State.
Provincial president Youth National Conference Ajaz Jan led the protests in Poonch and castigated the BJP for playing dubious role in harming the interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir by creating wedge in the society on the basis of region and religion.
Qazi Jalal-ud-Din while leading the protests at Inderwal said Jammu region is taking a sigh of relief after the end of nightmarish era of misgovernance, which will go in the annals of history as a bad patch.
In Rajouri, District president Shaffat Khan led the protests and took the BJP head on for indulging in misinformation campaign in a bid to hoodwink public opinion.
NC Women Wing provincial president Satwant Kour Dogra addressed the protesters at Samba and said that Jammu being in close vicinity of the northern States and having immense economic potential in pilgrim tourism sector cannot afford its economy to be dominated by the people of other states.
At Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan District president Urban Jammu Dharamveer Singh Jamwal accused the BJP as main factor behind overt and covert attempts to get Article 35A scrapped. He described BJP as an outfit of exploiters, agitators and non-performers, which left deep bruises and scars on the psyche of the Jammu region by indulging in loot, corruption, nepotism and favouritsm during its over three years misrule.
At Nagrota, the protesters led by NC Block president Rameshwar Dutta castigated the BJP for its dubious role and actions against the interests of the Jammu region. He cautioned the BJP leaders against indulging in falsehood to further its sinister agenda.
The SC Cell of the National Conference led by Co-Chairperson Vijay Lochan held protests at Nagri in Kathua district and adopted a resolution to strengthen the special identity of Jammu and Kashmir and preservation of Article 35A.
Many other groups held protests in Rajouri, Poonch, Doda-Kishtwar, Ramban and several other places across the region in support of 35-A.
Meanwhile, several towns in district Rajouri, including Thannamandi, Darhal, Manjak-ote observed complete bandh while Rajouri town observed partial bandh whereas, Nows-hera, Sunderbani, Kalakote remained opened. Poonch city and Mendhar town were also by large opened while Surankote and Mandi towns observed complete shut down.
The reports of partial bandh have also been received from Doda, Kishtwar, Bhaderwah, and Thathri while Banihal, Gool and Gandoh observed complete bandh in support of 35-A.