SRINAGAR Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti warned the Centre on Sunday against the revocation of Article 35A, saying any tinkering with the constitutional provision would be akin to setting a powder keg on fire.
Addressing a function here to celebrate the Peoples Democratic Party’s 20th raising day, Mufti asked her party workers to get ready for a big fight for the protection of Article 35A, which gives special rights and privileges to the state’s permanent residents.
“We want to tell the Central government that tinkering with Article 35A will be akin to setting a powder keg on fire,” the PDP president said. “If any hand tries to touch Article 35A, not only that hand, but that whole body will be burnt to ashes.”
Mufti said they would fight till death any attempt to tinker with the state’s special status.
The former chief minister said many attempts would be made to harass the PDP and its leaders. She said New Delhi knew the PDP was the “only party” that “stands like a wall” to protect the state’s special status and identity.
Centre trying to create fear psychosis among people in Kashmir: Er. Rashid
The chief of the Awami Ittehad Party (AIP) and former MLA Engineer Sheikh Abdul Rashid on Sunday accused the Centre of “trying to create fear psychosis” among the masses and asked it to take concrete steps for resolving the Kashmir issue.
Rashid said the BJP-led Union government should should stop “experimenting” in the state and respond to rumours about deployment of additional forces here.
“The government should respond to rumours being spread not only by various quarters, but also by government officials over the deployment of additional forces and intentions of the Centre.
“New Delhi should stop experimenting in Jammu and Kashmir and take concrete steps for the resolution of Kashmir issue,” Rashid told reporters here.
The former MLA from Langate Assembly segment alleged that the Centre is “trying to create fear psychosis among the masses” and cautioned it against fiddling with Article 35-A or Article 370.
Both these provisions are not concessions to the people of the state, but are a part of various commitments and constitutional guarantees given to Kashmiris by the Centre, Rashid said.
“It is unfortunate that rather finding a permanent solution to the 70-year-long issue, the Centre is playing with fire,” he said.
If the rumour that additional troops have been sent to Kashmir to deal with law and order issues is true, then what about the the government’s “tall claims” of peace returning in the Valley and decline in militancy, Rashid posed.