Srinagar: Kashmir Center for Social and Development Studies, (KCSDS) on Thursday staged a silent-sit-in protest against the attempts to dilute article 35-A of Indian constitution which provides special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Protesters from different walks of life inclusing lawyers, journalists, businessmen, doctors and teachers assembled at Paratap Park here in Srinagar. The placards they carried highlighted the promises made by various Indian leaders. Some of the placards read, “India learn to keep promise, liars make the best promise, they made many promises but never kept one, a country that does not keep promises is a banana republic. Shame on broken promises.”
Industrialist Shakeel Qalander gave a historical background of the events that lead to the Kashmir dispute after British-India was divided. “Various events took place after the partition, questioned were raised regarding Kashmir’s accession with India or Pakistan. On 26 October 1947 Indian forces entered Kashmir Valley, the dispute was taken to the United Nations and on 5 January 1949 where it was decided that Kashmir to issue will be resolved by conducting plebiscite.” he said
He added that later in September of the same year article 370 was bought in under administrative affairs to run state administration as promised by government of India. “Article 370 has same position as it used to but it was eroded time and again because of the laws that were created in Indian Parliament were implemented in state.
Writer Majid Zargar expressed serious concern on Kashmiris if the article 35-A was tempered with through judicial means.
He said that majority of the laws belong to Kashmir as they were created in 1927 and 1932 when Jammu and Kashmir was ruled by Maharaja. The then government of India had said we will provide Kashmir with a special status to save its identity and culture and thus this article was brought in through Presidential order. If this article is removed anyone from India can purchase property, and most importantly majority population will turn into minority just like in Palestine. We are sure this is a well hatched conspiracy,” he said.
Muzaffar Shah, president of Awami National Conference and grandson of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah said it was RSS backed NGO, We the Citizens that petitioned two years ago in Supreme Court.
Sidiq Wahid who has written several articles on the issue said if Article 35-A was already part of law and it cannot be tampered with.