Jammu and Kashmir: Spontaneous shutdown after rumours about scrapping of Article 35A cause clashes

Srinagar: Spontaneous shutdown was observed at several places in Kashmir after clashes broke out between youths and security forces following rumours about scrapping of Article 35A, a police official said. Article 35A, which accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir, is facing a legal challenge in the Supreme Court.

“Spontaneous shutdown is being observed in many places in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, and Anantnag district in south Kashmir,” the official said. He said announcements were made on loudspeakers that Article 35A has been scrapped and people were asked to observe a strike and come out to protest.

“Shops and other business establishments, which had opened this morning, downed shutters after rumours of Article 35A being scrapped spread like wild fire and were circulated on social media,” the official said. Stone-pelters clashed with security personnel in Anantnag and in the Safakadal area here in the wake of the rumours, he said.

The official said security forces are on the job to control the situation. In a statement, police appealed to people to maintain calm and not pay heed to rumours. “Some sections of media circulated news regarding Article 35A. The news is refuted as baseless. People are requested to maintain calm and not to pay heed to rumour. The main hearing is on August 31,” the statement said. Article 35A was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order.

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