SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Pensioners Welfare Federation (JKPWF) and senior citizens held a protest demonstration here on Saturday against tinkering with Article 35A, which gives special rights to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir. The protesters demanded the immediate dismissal of the petition against Article 35A, listed for hearing in the Supreme Court of India on August 31.
Led by Federation president Sampat Prakash, scores of senior citizens, pensioners and members from more than 25 organisations assembled here in Pratap Park under the JKPWF banner and staged a demonstration in favour of Article 35A. Later, Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) leader Yasin Malik also joined the protest demonstration.
Carrying placards and banners which read “Save Article-35A”and “Save disputed status of Kashmir”, the protesters chanted slogans against the assault on Article 35A. The protesters also chanted pro-freedom and anti-India slogans during the demonstration.
Sampat Prakash said that if the state subject is harmed by any means, that will be the beginning of “Revolution against India” by the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir, and this would be the “fight” of every single person for their right.
“We are ready to safeguard the state subject law from every foreign intervention and nefarious design by our blood. All the citizens have united, irrespective of their religion, region, caste and political affiliations,” he said. “These cheap tactics of BJP and RSS will never be tolerated.”
Prakash said that Kashmiri pandits and Muslims have united to protect Article 35A, because for every citizen residing here, the state subject law is a matter of “life and death”, and fighting for it is “sacred” as anything. Any cheap attempt to harm it would be the beginning of “state-wide agitation”, alike to the agitation during Partab Singh’s rule in 1980 for securing the rights of state subjects of Jammu and Kashmir.
Prakash went on to say, “I am terrified that Article 35A is again listed for hearing in Supreme Court, as I was part of the previous dismissal decision made by the honourable court.
A protester, Mohammad Akbar Mir, said, “We will stand firm with every citizen of Jammu and Kashmir to defend Article 35A, and we are ready to spill our blood for the sake of state subject law.”
Mir said that as a Kashmiri patriot, it is the responsibility of every citizen here to “raise voice” against the growing “threat” to our identity and dignity.
Supporting the strike call given by JRL on August 30 and 31 the members of the Federation said that, “We announce our unambiguous support to the strike call given by the JRL and other organisations against the attempt to meddle with our state subject law.”