Police to ‘Allow’ peaceful protests against Article 35A Row

The police have decided to allow peaceful protests against petitions challenging Article 35A in the Supreme Court.
The police will, however, keep a close watch on protests and ensure no demonstration takes an ugly turn.
“We will allow peaceful protests. A protestor is well within the rights to stage a peaceful protest,” director general of police Shesh Paul Vaid told Kashmir Post.
“Those protesting against (petitions) challenging the article 35A will be dealt with sympathetically,” he said.
A slew of petitions challenging Article 35A would be heard by the apex court on August 6.
The Article 35A empowers J&K legislature to define the permanent residents of the state.
Police apprehend demonstrations after Friday prayers on August 4 in Kashmir and also on August 5 and 6.
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik have called for protest and strike on August 5 and 6 against the “attempts aimed at tinkering with the article 35 A.”
At least 27 major organisations that include trade bodies, hoteliers, houseboat owners, industrialists, and transporters have already started a phased protest program from July 31.
They have also supported JRL’s two-day strike program while asserting they “would sacrifice everything” to protect the state’s state-subject rights.
The police, however, have a contingency plan if the situation turns ugly.
“We will not allow the situation to go out of control. We have made preparations to face violent as well as non-violent protests,” said a senior police official, requesting anonymity.
“We will keep a watch on anti-social elements as they may try to sabotage peaceful protests and create law and order problems,” he said.