SRINAGAR: A day before Supreme Court is to hear pleas against Article 35-A, which grants special privileges to Jammu and Kashmir residents, the separatists leaders on Sunday warned of mass agitation if the apex court delivers verdict against the state budget law.
The separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik in a joint statement today said a conspiracy has been hatched to change the demography of the Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir.
“If the state-subject law (Article 35-A) is removed or any amendment introduced, people from other states of India will purchase land in J&K and a Palestine-like situation will arise,” they said.
Stating that people of the state would resist such "conspiracy" tooth and nail, they warned of mass agitation if the Supreme Court delivers verdict against the interests and aspiration of people of state.
“Any any move to tinker with Article 35-A will create Palestine-like situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” they said and asked people to be ready for protest against any amendment or change in the State Subject laws.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear tomorrow pleas against Article 35-A which debars a non-state subject from purchasing land or property, seek a government job or vote in the Assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir.
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Mishra, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Ajay Manikrao Khanwikar would hear the petitions.
On July 17 this year, a two-judge bench had referred the case to the three-judge bench.
The apex court is hearing a petition filed by NGO “Jammu Kashmir Study Centre” seeks striking down of Article 35-A, which confers special rights and privileges on permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
''We will safeguard the integrity and special status of the state at any cost,” the separatist leaders said.
Warning that if any attempt was made to change or modify Article 35-A people from all corners of state would come on roads and resist such move, they said, “We are in close contact with religious leaders, civil societies, transporters, businessmen, students, lawyers and other groups. They will be taken on board and a special delegation has been formulated to make a consensus after seeking their suggestions in this regard.”
They urged the mainstream politicians to join the separatist ranks and play their role in resolving this long-pending issue.
Hitting out at ruling PDP for its failure to defend Article 35-A, the separatist leaders called PDP an ally of the RSS and termed PDP-BJP alliance an “unholy nexus”.
“We are watching the developments keenly and soon a programme will be announced,” they added.
Article 35-A was extended to Jammu and Kashmir through the ‘Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order’ issued by President Rajendra Prasad on May 14, 1954. It was specifically devised to grant protection to state subject laws that had already been defined under the Maharaja’s rule and notified in 1927 and 1932.