SRINAGAR: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and opposition National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Monday warned that if Article 35-A, which grants special status to J&K, was abrogated, it would have severe consequences in the State than the 2008 Amarnath land agitation.
The separatist leaders, meanwhile, have called for shutdown in Valley on August 12 against abrogation of Article 35-A.
“If Article 35-A is abrogated, it has the potential to further deteriorate the situation in J&K and central government will be squarely responsible for it. The 2008 Amarnath land row agitation was nothing as compared to the explosive repercussions it is bound to create in the state,” Abdullah told reporters after a meeting of opposition leaders at his residence, here today.
He said abrogation of Article 35 A will have much more severe consequences in the State than the land row agitation. “
In 2014, an NGO-linked to RSS had filed a petition in the Apex court seeking the striking down of Article 35-A. The case is pending in the Supreme Court.
Article 35-A confers special rights and privileges on permanent residents of J&K and debars non-residents from buying land or property, getting a government job or voting in State Assembly elections.
“It was necessary for opposition leaders to meet on Article 35-A, a state subject law, and discuss fallout of its abrogation. The abrogation will impact the State -- Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh,” Abdullah said.
He said Article 35-A was meant for protecting people of the state, whether from Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh. “It is for their right of existence here. It has been done from Maharaja’s time to prevent others from coming here to dilute our culture.”
Taking a dig at BJP and RSS, he said the agenda of the two parties is to erode the autonomous structure of the State. “It is their plan and we as a united front will be going to people so that they know the fallout from this.”
He called upon all like-minded forces in the country to join hands and help them stop this RSS aggression.
“With the way things are moving at the centre viz a viz J&K special status, it seems a clear cut case of demographic change is in the making. BJP and RSS are working overtime to attack the autonomous nature of our state,” he said.
Taking a dig at the PDP-BJP coalition government, he said State government had the representative in the Supreme Court and unfortunately the State government did not put a high class representation before the apex court.
Asked what would be their future strategy, Abdullah said the issue is in the Apex Court and it has not given its decision yet.
“The opposition parties would reach out to the people. We will put it up vociferously before the people,” he said adding, “As a united front, we will take the issue to people. We would make people aware how it is going to impact J&K”.
He said it was important that people understand why they are opposed to abrogation of Article 35-A.
Abdullah reminded J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti of her statement in which she had threatened to quit if Article 35-A was tinkered with.
“We hope she would stand by her statement,” he said.
Abdullah advised Mehbooba that she should visit every region of the State and explain to people what would be fallout and dangers if Article 35 A was removed.
Meanwhile, separatist leaders, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik today called for complete shutdown in Kashmir on August 12 against abrogation of Article 35-A.
They alleged that Indian government and PDP-BJP coalition government in the State have decided to abrogate state subject law, which was implemented by erstwhile Maharaja in the State.
“By abrogating Article 35-A, Indian rulers backed by RSS want to change Muslim majority J&K into a minority and hence change the demography of this land like what Israel has done in Palestine,” they said.