Protests to safeguard Article 35-A across party lines

Srinagar: The protests in support of Article 35 A have gained momentum in Kashmir Valley as traders, employees and people associated with political and non-political parties continued to stage protest on Saturday.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today staged protest in solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir seeking full safeguards against all conspiracies to undermine the state’s constitutional position and political autonomy.

Referring to cases against Article 35 A pending in supreme Court PDP protestors demanded dismissal of all cases pending adjudications.

Protest rally was organised by Srinagar’s District Unit of PDP in which hundreds of workers vowed to offer any sacrifice that may eventually be required to protect state’s special position and its legitimate cultural and political concerns.

The Rally was led by Mohammad Khurshid Alam, PDP District President for Srinagar and MLC.  He reiterated Party stnd on specific guarantees to State including the Article 35-A and said that PDP leader Mehboba Mufti’s firm stand as Chief Minister on this Article is well known and in consonance with honour and dignity of the people.

He said she and party leaders have in every forum always stood upright in party’s stand for settlement and resolution of political issues as per people’s sentiments.

Senior National Conference leader, Ali Muhammad Sagar also led a protest march of National Conference against the onslaught on Article 35-A of the constitution.

The protest was attended by several party leaders and activists.

Speaking on the occasion, NC General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar said that an assault on Article 35-A was a direct assault on the State’s special status and won’t be tolerated at any cost. “All political, social and religious organizations of the State are united in their resolve to fight against these ploys and J&K National Conference will fight this battle from the front lines. We have filed an intervention plea in the Hon’ble Supreme Court asking to be included as respondents to the petition challenging Article 35-A and we will continue to evolve a wide consensus on the ground across the State against those overt and covert powers who are hell-bent to undermine the State’s special status that was negotiated by the State’s representatives when the State acceded to the Union in extraordinary circumstances”, the NC General Secretary said.

The NC General Secretary said the party would continue to reach out to the people at the grassroots level and fight every battle necessary to safeguard the State’s interests and rights.

Addressing the protest march in Srinagar, Senior Party Leaders Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, Mubarak Gul, Muhammad Akbar Lone and Shamima Firdous said that PDP’s Faustian bargain with the BJP had resulted in the State’s special status coming under repeated assaults from various quarters. The protest marches also saw the participation of hundreds of functionaries and activists from Youth National Conference across all districts.

The protest in support of Article 35A was also staged by Jammu Kashmir Democratic Youth Federation and Tourism Trade Fraternity, Rahul Gandhi’s Fans Association and All Tribal Coordination Committee. Qadfeen Chowdary, president All Tribal Coordination Committee, Qadfeen Chowdary and Rouf Tramboo who spoke on behalf of Tourism Trade Fraternity to reporters warned of serious consequences in case Article 35 A is abrogated.

Meanwhile, Jammu Muslim Front President Shujah Zaffar has also pitched for the retention of Article 35A. He said it’s abrogation will have serious ramifications as it will not only affect people of Kashmir, but Jammuties and Ladakhis as well.

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