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Article 35A: Kashmir, Chenab Valley observe Shutdown; Protests In Several Parts

SRINAGAR, AUGUST 30: Kashmir and Chenab Valley on Thursday observed a complete shutdown against the challenge in the Supreme Court on the validity of Article 35-A, which among others bars people from outside Jammu and Kashmir from acquiring any immovable property in the state.

Amid exemplary shutdown, reports said that there were protest demonstrations at Bandipora, Panzla Baramulla, Handwara, Tral, Baramulla besides Parimpora and Ghanta Ghar Lal Chowk here. The protesters vowed to defend the Article 35A.

Shops and business establishments were closed across the Valley while all kinds of transport remained off the roads due to the strike called by the JRL.

Schools and other educational institutions remained closed while attendance in the government and semi-government departments remained thin.

The officials told GNS said government forces were deployed in strength at vulnerable places in the city and elsewhere in Kashmir for maintaining “law and order”.

Restrictions were imposed within the jurisdiction of five police stations including MR Gunj, Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, Safa Kadal besides Maisuma and Kral Khud.

Reports of the complete shutdown were also received from other districts of the Kashmir besides Chenab Valley areas of Doda, Bhaderwah, Banihal, Thathri, Gandoh and Kishtwar.

At Bahinal, a protest rally was organized and protesters vowed to defend the Article 35A at any cost.

The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) has called for a two-day strike — today and tomorrow — as Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a PIL challenging the validity of the Article 35-A on August 31.

The state government has filed an application before the Registrar of the Supreme Court, informing that it is going to seek the adjournment of the hearing of the petition, citing upcoming Panchayat and urban local body and municipal elections in the state.

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Various organizations included Bar Association, transporters and traders’ bodies have extended support to the shutdown call of the JRL, comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik.

Meanwhile, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house arrest last night to prevent him from leading any protests, said a spokesman of the amalgam. He said the Mirwaiz was placed under detention at his Nigeen residence at 8pm. (GNS)

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