ITIFAQ LONE/ARIF RASHID
Srinagar: Trade and business organisations in Kashmir organised a massive demonstration on Wednesday here in city centre Lal Chowk to oppose the hearing on Article 35A in the Supreme Court. Members of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF), Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), Federation of Commerce and Industries Kashmir (FCIK), Kashmir Auto Rickshaw Association (KAA), Traders Union Regal Lane, along with members of Sikh and Christian communities assembled near the Ghanta Ghar in Lal Chowk, holding banners and placards.
Raising pro-freedom, anti-India and pro-Article 35A slogans, the protestors held up placards that read, “We will spill our blood to defend Article 35A”, “Save Our Rights”, “Dismiss The Petitions”.
KTMF president Mohammad Yasin Khan termed Article 35A as the “pride” of every citizen of J&K and said that Kashmiris will not let Government of India (GoI) “erase our identity” and “dignity”.
“We are ready to die and take bullets on the chest but we will not let GoI erase the state subject law. People of Kashmir are apprehensive of their fate and are ready to sacrifice everything to safeguard their existence,” Khan said.
Khan demanded that the petitions challenging Article 35A in the Supreme Court be dismissed immediately
Meanwhile, scores of employees working in different government departments also took out a protest march in Lal Chowk area. The employees assembled in Partap Park under the banner of Employees Joint Consultative Committee (EJCC). Chanting slogans and holding up placards, they marched towards the Ghanta Ghar.
EJCC president Aijaz Ahmad Khan said that if Article 35A is abrogated, Kashmir will become a “second Palestine”.
“We will continue our protests till the petitions are dismissed in the Supreme Court of India,” Aijaz Khan said.
The protestors appealed to all religious and non-religious organisations to unite to protect Article 35A. They also announced their support to the two-day shutdown call given by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) for August 30 and 31.
Meanwhile, Private Diagnostic Centre Association Kashmir said they will shut down their clinics for two days.