SRINAGAR, Aug. 12 (TNS): Complete shutdown was observed on Saturday, against the Indian plans to abrogate Article 35A of Indian Constitution to convert Muslim majority of the territory into minority.
Article 35 A of the Indian constitution confers special rights and privileges on permanent residents of Indian-controlled Kashmir, debarring residents from other Indian states from buying land or property, getting a government job or voting in the local elections.
However a petition has recently been filed by right wing Hindu hardline Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) backed think tank, Jammu Kashmir Study Centre, challenging Article 35-A in India’s top court.
The Supreme Court had last month asked the federal government to file a reply within three weeks in this regard.
On Saturday in the region, markets, business establishments, educational institutions and private offices remained closed. Public transport remained off the roads.
Call for the strike was given by the joint resistance leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik and supported by traders of the occupied territory. It was also aimed at condemning the ongoing killing spree by Indian forces and the arrest of Hurriyat leaders by Delhi-based National Investigation Agency and Enforcement Directorate. All shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed while traffic was off the road.
Strike was also observed in Bhadarwah, Doda, Kishtwar, Gandoh and Thathri areas of Jammu region against India’s nefarious plans to change the demographic composition of Jammu and Kashmir by tinkering with the Article 35A.
The members of Kashmir civil society at a round-table conference in Srinagar decided to send a memorandum to the UN Secretary General, all permanent members of the UN Security Council and member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to apprise them about the anti-Kashmir wicked designs of New Delhi.
The conference was addressed among others by Zafar Ahmed Shah, Siddeeq Wahid, Professor Hameeda Nayeem, Muhammad Shafi Pandit, Khuram Parvez, Professor Gull Wani, Dr Altaf Hussain, Sheikh Showkat Hussain, Noor Muhammad Baba, Shujaat Bukhari, Dr Javed Iqbal, Z G Muhammad, Shakeel Qalander and Dr Mubeen Shah.
Meanwhile, people staged forceful protests after Indian forces launched a cordon and search operation in Trichal area of Pulwama district. Indian forces’ personnel fired teargas shells to disperse the protesters, triggering clashes between the demonstrators and the troops. An Indian soldier was injured after unknown gunmen attacked an army camp in Kalaroos area of Kupwara.
The Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party in a statement in Srinagar said that its chief Shabbir Ahmed Shah was being treated an inhuman manner in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail and was not being allowed to take medicines.
The puppet authorities have converted occupied Kashmir into a military garrison by deploying Indian army and paramilitary personnel in strength across the territory ahead of India’s Independence Day, the 15th August, causing huge inconvenience to the people.
On the other hand, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in a statement issued in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, urged the Indian government to permit a delegation of the OIC’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission to visit occupied Kashmir to verify reported human rights violations in the territory.