SRINAGAR: With Supreme Court likely to hear petitions in next two days challenging the validity of Article 35A, which grants special privileges to residents of Jammu and Kashmir, the separatist leaders have called for a two-day shutdown in Valley beginning Wednesday.
"People of Jammu and Kashmir will forcefully resist every challenge by New Delhi to change the demography of the State by rolling back hereditary state subject laws of 1927, being contested in the Supreme Court of India," read a joint statement issued by separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) today.
They said the late announcement and ambiguity over dates of hearing of 35A and 370 by Supreme Court on February 13 or 14 is worrisome and indicates of mischief.
"To protest and resist this vicious move, a complete strike will be observed in the State on February 13 and 14. If any adverse order is announced, we will announce a mass agitation thereon," they said adding it should be clear by now to Government of India that they cannot break the "back and make us cow down before their might".
The Supreme court is scheduled to hear on February 13 or 14 the petitions challenging the validity of Article 35A, which bars outsiders from purchasing land and property in the State and also bars them from government jobs and government scholarships.
Jammu and Kashmir has sought permission from the Supreme Court to circulate a letter to parties for adjourning upcoming hearing on pleas challenging validity of Article 35A.
"The present matter involves a sensitive issue regarding challenge to Article 35A of constitution of India. We request that the matter may kindly be heard when an elected government is in place in the state," reads the State counsel's letter to the apex court.