Srinagar: The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) organised a protest demonstration after Friday prayers at Masjid Bilal at the Polo View Bund in Srinagar against attempts to revoke Article 35A of the Indian Constitution, which grants special rights and privileges to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier in the day, JRL leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik met to “deliberate on the serious challenge posed to Article 35A”, a JRL spokesman said.
The Constitutional validity of Article 35A has been challenged in the Supreme Court by four petitions. The petitions are listed for hearing in the Supreme Court on August 6.
JRL leader and Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Yasin Malik said at the protest demonstration at Masjid Bilal that defending Article 35A was a “matter of life and death for the people of Jammu Kashmir”.
“JRL has announced a protest programme and called for a complete shutdown on 5th and 6th of August. Every Kashmiri will stay indoors on these days as a mark of protest,” said Malik who was leading the protest demonstration at Polo View Bund near city centre Lal Chowk.
Malik threatened that if the Supreme Court of India gave any verdict against Article 35A, the whole of Kashmir would come out on roads.
He said that the petition in the Supreme Court challenging Article 35A has been filed by a Hindu right-wing organisation supported by the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh).
“India deems Jammu & Kashmir as its colony and tries to suppress the resistance of the people. Removing 35A is also part of these efforts,” Malik said.
He said that the JRL does not want the Kashmiri people to suffer in any way but when it comes to matters of life and death, no choice is left but to resist.
He further said, “For the past many years we have witnessed numerous controversial proposals and ideas being floated by Indian rulers who only want to inflict more and more harm to people of Jammu and Kashmir. This new controversy on 35A is also aimed at hurting our dignity, at inflicting more miseries on us, and to change the demography of our land.”