GOI might make 35A move by Aug 15, Mainstream leaders call for all-party meet

  • PDP chief has requested her rival NC to call an all-party meet
  • Mehbooba Mufti appealed the J&K parties to come together and present a united front
  • The development comes in the backdrops of rumours of Centre planning to scrap Article 35A

Modi 2.0 is likely to brace its toughest decision yet, that is the abrogation of Article 35A. India Today TV learnt from reliable sources that the big announcement could be made before August 15 i.e. on Independence Day.

Sources said that security forces have worked out an elaborate plan to counter a possible mass uprising in Kashmir, following the abrogation of this Article.

Besides the usual standard operating procedures like restrictions on movement of people curfews and a suspension of internet, plans are also being worked out to prevent any big militant attacks during this period. According to inputs, plans are afoot for micromanagement of all districts in Kashmir in the aftermath of the revocation. Fortification of the sensitive installation will be done.

Article 35A is the key instrument of Article 370 which defines states relation with the Centre and bars non-permanent residents from permanently settling in the Valley. It gives the right to buy immovable property, acquire land, apply for government jobs, any kind of scholarships and aids and other public welfare projects to state domicile.

India Today TV has learnt that the security forces have made advance preparations for long haul in the anticipation of unrest after the scrapping of Article 35A.

The forces have earlier seen a similar spell of unrest in 2008, 2010 and in 2016 when Hizb commander Burhan Wani was killed, pushing the Valley into a cycle of violence. Constitutional expert Subash Kashyap told India Today TV that a decision on the abrogation will be “perfectly valid and legal”.

People’s Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday sought help from her rival party National Conference’s patriarch Farooq Abdullah to present a united front against the Centre’s rumoured plans to end Article 35A, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

“In light of recent developments that have caused a sense of panic amongst people in J&K, I’ve requested Dr Farooq Abdullah sahab to convene an all-party meeting. Need of the hour is to come together & forge a united response. We the people of Kashmir need to stand up as one,” Mehbooba Mufti said in a tweet.

Reacting to the tweet, Farooq Abdullah told news agency ANI that he was “positive about this” and “”will call an all-party meeting this week”.

The article provides special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and allows the government to extend special rights and privileges to its citizens. There have been rumours that the Modi government plans to end the special status by abolishing Article 35A as soon as August 15. The reports suggest that the government has rushed 100,000 additional troops to the Valley for the fortification of sensitive zones before the news is made public.

“There is confusion in the Valley as one lakh troops are being pumped into Kashmir. We are going through a peaceful period, why instil fear?” Farooq Abdullah said on Monday.

The former Union minister added, “If they abrogate article 35A, they will have to abrogate every article of Indian Constitution. They will have to go back to 1947.”

Farooq Abdullah also dismissed the charges that his party was trying to create a sense of fear, “we are doing what is necessary”.

However, J&K Governor’s advisor on Home affairs K Vijay Kumar rejected the reports that troop movement was connected to any pending announcement.

K Vijay Kumar termed the various viral government orders in Kashmir valley related to troops and other info as rumour-mongering. The advisor said the induction of more troops in Kashmir Valley is a routine exercise and the decision was taken on the backdrop of meeting related to Amarnath Yatra and other counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir.