Srinagar: Representatives of 27 Kashmir-based trade organisations on Tuesday announced a week-long protest programme beginning Wednesday to “protect” Article 35-A from any tinkering
The business associations that recently came together under an umbrella body said the protests will be held by business, transport, horticulture, tourism and industry associations on different dates across Kashmir.
Members of the two apex chambers, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Federation Chambers Industries Kashmir along with Batamaloo traders will hold a peaceful sit-in on August 1.
Fruit growers and transporters including auto and sumo drivers will hold a similar demonstration on August 4 at 10 am in Parimpora.
“There will be strong protest against fiddling of Article 35A in the premises of Fruit Marketing Complex Parimpora. It is also resolved that all fruit mandies of the valley particularly fruit mandi Parimpora Srinagar , Sopore, Shopian, Pulwama will remain closed on August 5, 6 for all trade,” said a statement from Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers and Dealers Union (KVFGU).
“Article 35A is a constitutional right for Jammu and Kashmir people and will not, therefore, allow anybody to fiddle with it and incase if any efforts are made at any level by the central government the fruit growers will strongly protest against the move and even will not hesitate for any sort of sacrifices for the purpose of defending the article 35-A,” said Bashir Ahmad Basheer, chairman, KVFGU.
“We urge Government of India that the case filed in Supreme Court be immediately dismissed once for all and efforts of change of demography of the Jammu and Kashmir never be initiated failing which untoward results will come out,” Basheer said.
Tourism trade bodies including tour operators and houseboat owners, and representatives of private school associations will hold a sit-in protests on August 4.
Traders representing Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation and Kashmir Economic Alliance will demonstrate across Kashmir valley to demand that special status of Jammu and Kashmir is kept intact, acoording to the protest program announced by the Kashmir Inc umbrella body.
The 27 trade and industry associations on Monday in a joint press conference had already extended support to the strike call for August 5, 6 given by Joint Resistance Leadership against attempts at Annulment Article 35A which confers special rights and privileges on J&K’s permanent residents.
Another faction of Kashmir Economic Alliance has also called for march to the UNMOGIP office in Srinagar on August 6 where it would deliver a memorandum seeking intervention of the world body on the issue,” said Mohammed Yousef Chapri, chairman KEA.
While expressing his support to the protest program, Muhammad Yaseen Khan, chairman of Kashmir Economic Alliance said, “Business community, be it traders, hoteliers or transporters are ready to sacrifice their lives to protect the special status of our state. Government is using all dirty tactics to take away over special status but we won’t let it happen.”
Khan said the government has done immense harm to the special status of the state.
“First they implemented GST, then Statistics Bill and now attempts are being made to scrap Article 35A”.
This unique circumstance, he said was a matter of prime consideration for evolving constitutional machinery to prescribe relationship of the state with the Union of India. It is well documented and recorded that “Jammu & Kashmir state now stands acceded to the Indian Union in respect of 3 subjects namely foreign affairs, defence and communication. It will be for the constituent assembly of the state when convened, to determine in respect of which other subjects the state may accede.’’
Article 370 embodies this basic principle of solemn compact pact. It is the machinery to integrate the people of Kashmir with India with heart and soul and to stop their alienation.
Article 370 has been repeatedly abused after 1954 Order many times practically negating Article 370 and the autonomy of the state. Among the changes brought about, the most important is restricting the powers of legislature of the state, extension of powers of the union parliament, application to the state of financial provisions of the Constitution, provisions relating to emergency, all India Services, Superintendence , directions and control of the elections of the State Legislature and several other matters.
Article 35A is very much necessary, in this context, not to cause further alienation of Kashmiri People from India, he said.
Article 35A itself is part of Fundamental Right under Part-III and is not in violation of any other Fundamental Right including Article 14.