Srinagar: Civil Society Coordination Committee and Muslim Personal Law Board (MPLB) of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday called for shutdown in Kashmir on August 6 the day Article 35A case is listed in Supreme Court.
Mufti Nisar-ul-Islam, deputy Mufti Azam Jammu and Kashmir termed the court hearing “the judicial and legislative onslaught to article 35A” saying, “Not even a mere change to article 35A would be tolerated by the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
“There will be bloodbath in the state if Article 35A will be tempered by any means,” he said and appealed government of India to improve situation instead of worsening it by tinkering with the law that accords special rights and privileges to citizens of Jammu and Kashmir.
The coordination committee is an amalgam of civil society, minority groups and political organisations.
Awami National Conference chief Muzaffar Shah appealed all political parties including mainstream and pro-freedom groups and Bar Association to struck a chord and unite for safeguarding the Article 35A.
“This is the litmus test to our national unity and resilience and we must join hands to protect the state subject laws and resist the judicial onslaught,” said a spokesperson in a statement. It urged that Supreme Court should dismiss the petition filed for abrogation of Article 35A.
“Governor being the constitutional head of State is under the oath to protect the constitutional and legal status of J&K. The members of committee appeal him to take every step to defend the constitutional rights to the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” it said.
In July 2014, a rightwing-affiliated non-government organisation, ‘We the Citizens’, filed a petition in the Supreme Court. Subsequent to this petition, three more classes of persons have joined the chorus by filing separate petitions challenging the validity of this article on different grounds.
Similarly, West Pakistan refugees have challenged Article 35A on grounds of discrimination in spheres like acquisition of property and service and voting rights. The court has clubbed all these petitions with the main petition filed by the NGO.
Last year, when the case came up for hearing in the court, the ruling BJP has been pushing for abrogation of Article 35A for a complete merger of J&K with the Union of India.