Protests, shutdown in JK against assault on Article 35-A

Protests, shutdown in JK against assault on Article 35-A
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Srinagar, Aug 5: Life came to a grinding halt as shop and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads in Kashmir Valley due to two-day strike called by separatists from Sunday to protest alleged attempts being made to abrogate Article 35-A.
Shops and business establishments, which remain open on Sundays, were closed and traffic was off the road in civil lines and uptown Srinagar, where roadside vendors were also missing today. However, few private vehicles could be seen plying on some routes in the city.
The famous Sunday Market also wore a deserted look as vendors stayed away. Train services were also suspended on Sunday for security reasons.
Business and other activities remained crippled in main business hubs of the city, including historic Lal Chowk, the nerve-centre of summer capital, Budshah Chowk, Regal Chowk, Maisuma, Hari Singh High Street (HSHS), Batmaloo, Moulana Azad Road, Residency Road and Dalgate.
Additional security forces, wearing bullet proof jackets and holding weapons and lathis in their hands, were seen patrolling the streets in the city to prevent any untoward incident.
The 3-km-long weekly market from Radio Kashmir (RK), Srinagar, crossing to Hari Singh High Streets (HSHS), including historic Lal Chowk, the nerve-centre of the city, which attracts thousands of buyers from different parts of the valley, wore a deserted look due to the strike and restrictions.
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Maluvi Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, had called for a two-day strike from August 5 to protest against an alleged ‘politically-motivated move’ to abrogate Article 35-A.
As many as 27 Kashmir-based trade and industry bodies, including the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), have backed the separatist strike call. The representatives of 27 Kashmir-based trade and industry bodies on Monday also presented a united front to protest against any attempts made to abrogate Article 35-A and tamper with the special status of the state.
This comes in the back drop of the Supreme Court (SC) hearing on Monday (August 6) a number of writ petitions challenging Article 35 A, which empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state. The Article provides special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.
A report from Anantnag said life was crippled in this and other south Kashmir towns and tehsil headquarters, where shops were closed and traffic was off the road in support of the strike. Additional security forces have been deployed in entire south Kashmir, including Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian, to prevent any law and order problem.
Security has also been stepped up along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway to prevent any protests.
Life also came to a grinding halt in central Kashmir districts of Budgam and Ganderbal in support of the strike called by separatists.
Hundreds of security forces and state police personnel were deployed in major towns and tehsil headquarters to stop protests, said a report from north Kashmir, where business and other activities were crippled and traffic was off the roads in support of the strike.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in Chenab Valley in Jammu and Kashmir against attempts to abrogate Article 35-A.
The shutdown is being observed on the call of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) which was supported by Anjuman-e-Islamia Bhadarwah and Majlis-e-Shoura Kishtwar to lodge their protest against any move to tinker with Article 35 A.
Reports said that all shops and other business establishments of the Muslim community remained closed, however, traffic was plying on the roads as usual.
In Kishtwar district of the region, shops and business establishments remained closed and transport also remained off the roads.
Reports said that contingents of paramilitary forces have been deployed at various sensitive points in Bhaderwah and Kistwar.
Train service suspended
Train service was on Sunday suspended for security reasons in the Kashmir valley, where separatists have called for two-day strike from today against any move to weaken the Article 35 A.
The Supreme Court (SC) will hear on Monday (August 6) a number of writ petitions challenging Article 35 A, which empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state. The Article provides special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.
We have received a fresh advisory from the police to suspend all trains in the Kashmir valley today and tomorrow for security reasons, a senior railway official said.
He said no train will chug on Srinagar-Budgam and Baramulla in north Kashmir today. Similarly all trains were also suspended on Budgam-Srinagar-Anantnag-Qazigund in south Kashmir to Banihal in Jammu region, he added.
He said railway authorities are acting on the advice of local administration who are taking decisions to suspend train service keeping in view the security and safety of passengers, railway staff and other property, he said adding in the past railways suffered damages worth crores of rupees during demonstrations and protests in the valley, where trains, railway stations and tracks were targeted.
This was the first time in the month of August train service was suspended in the valley.
Train service has become very popular in the valley since it is very cheap, fast and safe as compared to other mode of transport.