Srinagar: With a show of strength in the state capital, the New Kashmir Fruit Association on Thursday demanded the dismissal of petitions listed for hearing in the Supreme Court on Article 35A, which guarantees special privileges to Jammu and Kashmir.
Hundreds of fruit traders assembled at the premises of the Parimpora Fruit Mandi and shouted slogans in support of Article 35A. They held up placards that read, “Dismiss petition challenge”, “Safeguard Article 35A”, “interference with Article 35A unacceptable”, etc.
The association’s president, Bashir Ahmed, told Kashmir Reader that Kashmir’s fruit growers and traders were ready to sacrifice their life for the sake of Article 35A. “Every Kashmiri citizen is ready to sacrifice his life for the sake of state subject laws. We are ready to spill our blood for it and Article 35A will be protected by our blood,” he said.
Ahmed added, “The Supreme Court of India must dismiss the petition against Article 35A, otherwise Jammu and Kashmir would face consequences like Palestine and Syria are facing at the hands of Israel. We will not tolerate this at any cost.”
Threatening that if the petitions are not dismissed, everything in the state of Jammu and Kashmir will come to a standstill and “there will be blood spilled on every street of Kashmir,” Ahmad said, “We are set to fight for our right.”
Members of the association said that any attack on Article 35A will have devastating results. They said it would reopen the question of J&K’s accession to India and would invalidate the constitutional bridge between the state and the Indian union.
Amid rising sense of unease ahead of the hearing in the Supreme Court on August 6, scores of members of the association marched from Parimpora Fruit Mandi to the New bus stand Srinagar, chanting anti-India slogans. Pro-freedom and pro-Kashmir slogans were also raised during the march.
The association also extended its support to the shutdown called by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) on August 5 and 6.