Kashmir shuts for 2nd day against the assault on Article 35A

‘Govt calls petitioner NGO as imposter in affidavit’

Srinagar, Aug 6, CNS: The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned hearing petitions challenging the validity of Article 35A which guarantees special privileges to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The matter will be taken up by a 3-judge bench on 27 August to determine whether the matter is required to be referred to a 5-judge Bench.

The Supreme Court said the petitions challenging Article 35A validity will be listed before a 3-judge bench in the week starting 27 August and that bench would determine whether the matter is required to be referred to a 5-judge bench.

CJI deferred the case since one of the judges, Justice Chandrachud was absent from the court on Monday.

The Jammu Kashmir Government had also sought an adjournment to the matter till December, citing sensitive situation in the state ahead of the local polls.

The Jammu and Kashmir government according to media reports filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court seeking a dismissal of the petition, while also raising questions on the “bona fides” of the petitioner.

The affidavit reportedly said that the NGO “We the Citizens” was a “busybody, a meddlesome interloper, who has filed the instant petition seeking publicity”.

Meanwhile, Kashmir Valley witnessed a complete shutdown on Monday for the second consecutive day. All the shops, markets, business establishments, schools and colleges remained shut while transport remained off the roads.

A two-day statewide shutdown was called from 5 August by separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership.

Authorities kept the Amarnath Yatra and rail service suspended for the second consecutive day. According to the police, no pilgrim was allowed to move from the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas.

However, pilgrims camped at the Baltal and Pahalgam base camps in the Kashmir Valley were allowed to perform the Yatra, officials said.

Unprecedented shutdown was also observed in other parts of Kashmir Valley besides capital city Srinagar. Rajouri, Doda, Bhadarwah, Ramban and other areas of Jammu region also observed shutdown against the assault on Article 35A.

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