SRINAGAR: As the Supreme Court has deferred hearing till August 25 on pleas challenging validity of Article 35A, which grants special privileges to J&K residents, the Kashmiri separatist leaders have hardened their stand on the issue by saying no court had the jurisdiction to change the residency law of Jammu and Kashmir due to UN Security Council resolutions and claiming that people would "sacrifice" their lives to safeguard the Article 35A.
"J&K clearly states that citizens of the State are to decide their final dispensation by exercising the right to self-determination," Hurriyat leader and cleric Mirwa Farooq said while addressing Friday congregation prayers at historic Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar.
He said commitment to right to self-determination was made to J&K people by the first Prime Minister of India Pandit Nehru.
"So how can any court challenge the UN resolutions and the commitments made by Government of India (GoI) that took the shape of constitutional safeguards," Mirwaiz said.
He was referring to Article 35A, which bars outsiders from purchasing property in the State, getting government jobs and scholarships.
Mirwaiz said any attempt to tinker with Article 35A is aimed at undermining the Kashmir dispute by changing "demography of the state, settling outsiders and making the locals a minority in their own land along the Israeli pattern in Palestine ".
He said this won't be tolerated and unprecedented strike observed by people of J&K on August 5 and 6 should serve as an eye-opener for Indian government.
Mirwaiz announced that leadership is taking all segments of society on board for launching a massive agitation if Article 35A was tinkered with.