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Complete shutdown over Article 35-A brings Kashmir to a standstill

Peaceful protests were held on Sunday across Kashmir against the legal challenge to the validity of Article 35-A of the Constitution in the Supreme Court.

The protesters wowed to defend the constitutional provision, that bars people from outside Jammu and Kashmir acquire any immovable property in the state.

Traders organizations took out a protest march and held a sit-in at Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower) in Lal Chowk in support of the continuation of Article 35-A.

Similar rallies were held at Zadibal, Karfali Mohalla, Rainawari, Anchaar, Dalgate, Rambagh, Khanyar and Parimpora in the city, officials said.

Peaceful rallies were taken out at several places in other districts and towns of the valley, they said.

However, there were minor stone pelting incidents reported from some parts of the valley as well, the officials said, adding the miscreants were chased away by the security forces personnel deployed for maintaining law and order.

There were no reports of anyone getting hurt in the brief clashes, they said.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear pleas challenging the validity of the Article 35-A on Monday.

The state government has filed an application before the Registrar of the Supreme Court, informing that it is going to seek an adjournment of the hearing of the petition in view of the “ongoing preparations for the upcoming panchayat and urban local body and municipal elections in the state”.

Various organisations included Bar Association, transporters and traders’ bodies have extended support to the shutdown call of the JRL, comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik.

Meanwhile, Amarnath yatra was suspended from Jammu in the view of protest.

A few hundred pilgrims camping in Jammu to join the yatra to the 3,880 metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas were not allowed from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp this morning, the officials said.

Train services were also suspended in the valley, a senior railway official said.

The official said there were apprehensions of law and order problem in the valley, hence train service will remain suspended for two days on August 5 and 6.

Courtesy: Rediff