Srinagar: The National Conference (NC) and its arch rival PDP today took out separate protest rallies here ahead of the August 6 Supreme Court hearing on petitions challenging Article 35A of the Constitution, which confers special status to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
The apex court is hearing a batch of petitions in the matter, including the one filed by an RSS-linked NGO ‘We the Citizens’, seeking quashing of the article. MLA Khanyar Mohammad Sagar led hundred of party workers, carrying banners and placards, from the NC headquarters Nawai-e-Subah to Sher-e-Kashmir park.
One of the banners read, “If there are no Articles 35A and 370, then there is no accession (of Jammu and Kashmir to India)”. The protestors tried to march towards the city centre Lal Chowk but had to turn back due to a posse of policemen that stood guard at the park.
The PDP also took out a rally from its office near the Sher-e-Kashmir park. Led by NC general secretary Nizamuddin Bhat and MLA Khursheed Alam, the protesters marched towards Lal Chowk but were stopped by the police. A traders body also held a demonstration here.
The separatists and mainstream leaders have called for dismissing the PIL before the Supreme Court. The Jammu and Kashmir government yesterday approached the apex court seeking adjournment of the hearing, citing local body elections in the state.
Article 35-A, which was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and denies property rights to a woman who marries a person from outside the state. The provision, which leads such women from the state to forfeit their right over property, also applies to their heirs.