Article 35 A Debate Stokes Fire In Kashmir

Malik Sajid

Article 35A of the Indian Constitution is an article that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.

Recently, Supreme Court admitted the  plea challenging Jammu and Kashmir’s Article.35 A

Petitioner Charu Wali Khanna, a Supreme Court lawyer and a native of Kashmir admitted the plea stating that the article 35 A was anti women and against basic fundamental rights.

Parliament Member from Srinagar and Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah made hard stand on article 35 A clear and  warned of a “far greater revolt” than the 2008 Amarnath land agitation if the Article 35A that allows the state’s legislature to define the state’s permanent residents is tinkered with.

“This issue has the potential to further deteriorate the situation in our state and the government of India will be squarely responsible for that,” warned Abdullah after an opposition parties’ meet to discuss the Centre’s position before the Supreme Court on the Article. “The Amarnath land row agitation in 2008 was nothing compared to the explosive repercussions it is bound to create in the state.’’

Taking debate to new level altogether Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti  stated that If the special constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir is tampered with, or the Permanent Resident Act (35A) — a provision that empowers the state’s permanent residents — removed, there will be “no one to shoulder the Indian flag in the Valley.

The masses are also aghast over the debate on Article 35 A abrogation. Bilal Ahmad, a student states – “ Disaster is looming large as the debate on striking down of Article 35 A is going on . The Article 35 A is related to the sensitivities of Kashmiris and any dilution to it will further harm the already fragile peace in Kashmir.”

Undoubtedly, article 35 A debate is stoking fires in Kashmir.

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