Rallies, Shutdown Across Kashmir

SRINAGAR — Life across Kashmir including Chenab Valley and parts of Ladakh region came to a grinding halt due to a shutdown on Monday called by joint resistance leadership against the challenge in the Supreme Court to the validity of Article 35A.

The apex court adjourned hearing on constitutional validity of the Article and posted the case in last week of August.

Shops and business establishments remained closed along with educational institutions across Kashmir while all kinds of transport remained off the roads due to the strike. Even shikras (boats) in Dal Lake remained anchored on the banks for whole day, reports said.   

There were sporadic clashes near Parimpora, Wanbal Rawalpora, Gangiwar Ananatnag, Dialgam Anantnag. One youth suffered injuries at Wanbal Rawalpora, they said.  Various traders bodies also staged protest rallies at historic Lal Chowk here, seeking safeguarding of the constitutional provision.  

Police and Paramilitary CRPF forces were deployed at vulnerable places in the city including downtown and elsewhere in Kashmir to a bid to prevent protests.

A police officer said that the situation across Kashmir remained peaceful and the clashes reported in some areas were minor, they said.

Reports from Jammu region said that there was strike in support of the Article 35-A from the Chenab valley districts of Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar. People from different walks of life also staged peaceful rallies in support of the Article 35A in compliance with the call given by various religious and social organizations. 

Similar reports have come in from Poonch and Rajouri. Kargil district in Ladakh division also observed a complete protest strike.

Train service to and from south to north Kashmir also remained suspended along with the Amarnath yatra for the second consecutive day as a precautionary measure in view of the strike, reports said.

 The two-day strike was given by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL).

Various organisations included Bar Association, transporters and traders’ bodies and others have extended support to the shutdown call of the JRL.

Protests were held across the length and breadth of Kashmir over the past few days with mainstream parties like the National Conference and PDP also holding rallies in support of continuing Article 35-A.

“On August 5 and August 6, a complete protest strike will be observed throughout the state and people will register their total disapproval and resistance to this politically motivated move,” the JRL had said.

They have said that “a mass agitation of hitting and occupying the streets will be launched if any tinkering with 35A is allowed to take place under a legal garb, the consequences of which will be entirely on those perpetuating such mischievous ploys against people of J&K.” 

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