People in Jammu and Ladakh oppose abrogation of Article 35A

Jammu, August 18 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, several community leaders in the Jammu and Ladakh regions including Hindus and Sikhs have said that they are against the scrapping of Article 35A of Indian Constitution. They and most of the Muslim community leaders in Jammu said that they are with the people of the Kashmir Valley in their fight against the efforts of RSS and BJP to undermine the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Gujjar civil society activist and member of Gujjar Charitable Trust, Chowdhry Masood, who belongs to Poonch, in an interview with English daily, Kashmir Reader, said the people in Poonch, especially the Gujjar community, stand for the special political interests of Jammu and Kashmir. “We want Article 35A to be a permanent feature of the Constitution,” he said.

“The Government of India should not tinker with Article 35A, like it has done with Article 370, reducing it to a shell. It is not in the interests of Jammu and Kashmir to abrogate Article 35A. We oppose it. The government should refrain from adding fuel to the fire,” Masood said.

District President Rajouri of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Amir Shamsi, said that people in the Pir-Panjal region were worried over the efforts of RSS and BJP to scrap the Article 35A. “Our position on Article 35A is the same as it is in Kashmir,” he said.

The head of Muslim Action Committee, Bhaderwah, Muhammad Sharif Sartaj, said that there was unanimity among people to resist any move to abrogate Article 35A. He also said that the abrogation of 35A would affect Jammu more than Kashmir. “We are also holding a seminar in Jammu to make people aware of Article 35A and the repercussions if it is repealed,” he added.

Abdul Qayoom Mattoo, member of the Islami Shoora in Kishtwar, said that people in Kishtwar region were extremely angry at the talk of removing Article 35A. “We are with Kashmir on this issue. We observed shutdowns and will follow other (protest) calls to protect this provision,” said Mattoo, who is also Imam of a mosque.

Former so-called minister and head of Global Party, Babu Singh, said that the forces that were hell bent upon tinkering with the Article 35A were committing a wrong.

The Jammu and Kashmir Chapter of Akali Dal, a body representing Sikhs, has also supported the retaining of Article 35A.

Former puppet minister and senior Congress leader from Ladakh region, Nawang Rigzin Jora, said that he was strongly in favour of retaining the Article 35A. “We are in favour of retaining Article 370 and 35A. Our position is clear,” he said.

Already, the region’s powerful institution, Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust (IKMT) had urged people to defend the Article 35A. “We appeal (to) all the stakeholders of Jammu and Kashmir to rise above partisan politics and get together against tinkering of Article 35A,” it said.

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