Jammu and Kashmir on the edge, hearing on Article 35A in SC may be deferred

Hearing of the public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the validity of the Article 35-A in Jammu and Kashmir scheduled for Monday may be deferred to a later date. Governor NN Vohra has written to the apex court through the standing council of the state to defer the hearing.

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

As per Article 35-A, people from outside Jammu and Kashmir cannot acquire any immovable property in the state.

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Ahead of the scheduled hearing, separatist conglomerate Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) has called for a two-day complete shutdown on Sunday and Monday. Shops and business establishments have been closed across the Valley while all kinds of transport remained off the roads due to the strike called.

The ongoing Amarnath Yatra from Jammu to the cave shrine in the Kashmir Valley has also been shut for two days due to the shutdown.

Security forces have been deployed in strength at vulnerable places in the city and elsewhere in Kashmir to maintain law and order.

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Various organisations 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.

Protests have been 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.

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