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July 14, 2018

Srinagar:

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The chairperson of moderate Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairperson Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Monday told media that the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) is devising a strategy for the protection of Article 35 A. With the end of the BJP-PDP government in the state of Jammu and Kashmir on 19th June 2018, the state had come under the governor rule from 21st June. The break-up of PDP-BJP government had also brought the focus back on the legal battle for the protection of Article 35-A, which empowers the J&K legislature to define permanent residents and allow them the exclusive right to buy land in the state.

Mirwaiz, who is the chief priest of Jamia Masjid Srinagar said that they were negotiating with other stakeholders and civil society organizations not only for organising strikes and protests but also for framing the future course of action.“It is not about Hurriyat Conference cadres and leaders but about involving all people and communities of J&K from the Valley to Ladakh, Chenab and Pir Panjal,” he said. “The good thing is that people from Jammu have also started voicing their concerns about the abrogation of Article 35A and its ramifications.” Earlier, two leaders from the BJP also spoke in favour of Article 35 A in Jammu region.

Mirwaiz, who along with Syed Ali Geelani and Yasin Malik heads the JRL, said that if Article 35 A was abrogated, people of Jammu and Kashmir would come out in protest and such a protest might be more aggressive than the earlier ones.

Meanwhile, the case is listed before the three-judge bench in the apex court and the next hearing is on August 27. According to Mirwaiz, the JRL is in touch with bar associations and Kashmiri diaspora on the issue and with other representatives who are in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

Article 35A is a provision in Indian constitution that grants exclusive state subject (full citizenship) rights and other privileges to permanent residents of the state. This provision was added to the constitution through the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954, issued by the country’s first president, Rajendra Prasad, on May 14, 1954. The J&K constitution, which was adopted on November 17, 1956, defined a permanent resident as a person who was born or settled in the state before May 14, 1954, or who has been a resident in the state for 10 years and had “lawfully acquired” immovable property in the state before that.

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