Shutdown in Kashmir to protect Article 35A

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister speaks to the media on Friday after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Rejecting Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's claim that Jammu and Kashmir is India's crown and people of the state have rejected two nation theory, Awami Ittehad Party Chief and MLA Langate Er. He said the debate over Article 35A was neither Hindu versus Muslims nor Jammu versus Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party chairperson Harsh Dev Singh described Article 35A as unconstitutional. Under Article 35A, state laws bar non-residents from purchasing land in the state.

Article 35A was inserted in the constitution through a presidential decree in 1954. The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, which was framed in 1956 retained the definitions of Permanent Residents in the 1927 and 1932 notifications.

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Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has sought PM Modi's intervention to avoid the crisis.

In 2014, an NGO "We the Citizens" filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court seeking the striking down of the Article 35A as it was not added to the Constitution through following the procedure prescribed in the Article 368 of the Indian Constitution.

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Reacting to her statement, noted lawyer, Zaffar Ahmad Shah, said the central government has kept its options open. "If the GoI will scrap the Article 35-A then whole Article 370 will collapse its own".

Kamal said former chief minister and NC Working President, Omar Abduyllah's assertion that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was playing on both sides was accurate as New Delhi had failed her in implementing the Agenda of Alliance (AoA), the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "The time has come when the people of Jammu & Kashmir should say goodbye to Article 370 and ask the government of India to revoke Article 35 A", he said.

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Police also denied rumours that a mosque was damaged during the gunfight between the security forces and the militants. Police said three militants are believed to be holed up inside Awanira village.

The Chief Minister said any attempt to change or abrogate Article 35 (A) was akin to questioning "the idea of India that has to accommodate with the idea of Jammu and Kashmir". A permanent resident was defined as - A person who was born or settled in J&K before 1911 or has been resident in the state for 10 years after lawfully acquiring property in State. "The Delhi-based media is projecting that by supporting Article 35A Kashmiris are being against rights of women etc. The Prime Minister gave 100 per cent assurance to the agenda of alliance", she told reporters after her 15-minute meeting with Modi.

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