Separatists Launch 2-Day Shut Down In Jammu And Kashmir Over Article 35A

| August 5 , 2018 , 11:55 IST

In protest against the government considering to remove Article 35A of the Constitution that gives special rights to Jammu and Kashmir’s permanent residents, Separatist leaders have called for a two-day state-wide shut down in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday and Monday.

Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) have called for the shut down, which is being supported by various organisations. The protesters have threatened to launch a mass agitation if the Article 35A is removed by the Supreme Court.

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The Article 35A of the Constitution grants special rights to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir, disallowing people from outside the state to buy or own immovable property there, settle permanently or avail of state-sponsored scholarship schemes. It also forbids the state government from hiring people who are non-permanent residents.

Article 35A had been added to the Indian Constitution in 1954 by a Presidential Order empowering the state's legislature to frame laws independently without attracting challenges comparing the Right to Equality of people in other states or other rights outlined by the Constitution.

Four petitions have challenged the legality of Article 35A on the grounds that it was never presented before the Parliament and that it differentiates between citizens of different states of India.

In view of the separatist called shut down, the ongoing Amarnath Yatra from Jammu to the cave shrine in Kashmir Valley has been temporarily suspended. Special check posts have been set up in Udhampur and Ramban to make sure that the movement of Amarnath pilgrims does not take place on the Jammu-Srinagar highway through the two districts. Pilgrims will be allowed to continue from the Baltal and Pahalgam base camps.