Government employees to hold sit-in on August 28
Srinagar: Extending their support to the protest calendar issued by the joint resistance leadership to safeguard Article 35A, Kashmir-based traders and their J&K Coordination Committee (JKCC) on Thursday said they were “ready to face bullets for protection of special status”.
The Kashmir Traders Manufacturers Federation and the Kashmir Economic Alliance in a statement said, “It will be all-out war if the central government scraps Article 35A.”
KTMF President Muhammad Yaseen Khan said, “It is a matter of life and death for us.”
“The business community, be it traders, hoteliers or transporters, is ready to sacrifice their lives to protect the special status of our state. The government is using all dirty tactics to take away our special status but we won’t let it happen,” he said.
The Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) of J&K government employees on Thursday announced a “one-hour peaceful sit-in dharna” at Press Colony Srinagar on August 28. EJAC President Abdul Qayoom Wani said, “Employees are part of society and will never remain silent on the issue of diluting the special status of J&K.”
“Any move to damage the special status will prove detrimental for the peace of the state,” he said.
The JKCC held a meeting in which the members resolved to stand united against all attempts aimed at dilution of J&K’s special status.
“The members observed that various institutions are being used to denude its special powers enshrined in its own constitution as well as in the Indian Constitution. In the past, laws passed by Parliament have been extended to J&K in an illegal and deceitful manner, with the active collaboration of successive state governments. By extending the GST law recently, both the central and state governments have indulged in yet another deceit, attempting to subjugate the state economically,” the JKCC said in a statement. “The JKCC shall not rest till the GST law is withdrawn, along with other laws passed deceitfully and illegally.”
The statement added, “Article 35A which bars outsiders from purchasing property or seeking employment in the state can in no way be struck down unilaterally or through deceitful means. This is an existential threat to the people of J&K and as such needs to be fought in a united form.”
The JKCC appealed to all the people, especially those engaged in trade, commerce, industries, tourism, transport, horticulture, agriculture, and civil society members to make the strike call and the protest programme a success.
“Besides, the JKCC has also announced a silent sit-in on Saturday, the 26th of August 2017 at 11:30 AM at Ghanta Ghar, Lal Chowk, Srinagar which shall be attended by members of all constituents of JKCC along with their affiliates,” the statement said.
Executive council members of the Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani, including Shaheen Iqbal (Gojar-Pahari Public Forum), Mohammad Shareef Sartaj (Jammu province) and Shahid Salim extended their full support to the protest programme and shutdown call announced by the joint resistance leadership.
“Abrogation or tinkering with Article 370 and 35A is aimed at changing the demography of Jammu and Kashmir,” the trio said in their statement.