Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said fiddling with the state’s special status would have “catastrophic ramifications” for the entire country.
Her warning comes days before a Supreme Court hearing, scheduled for August 6, on petitions challenging the validity of Article 35A of the Constitution, which grants special rights and privileges to the state’s residents.
“Today people cutting across party lines and other affiliations are united in their fight against dilution of Article 35A. As I have already stated before, fiddling with J-K’s special status will have catastrophic ramifications for the entire country,” Mufti said.
Article 35A, which was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, also denies property rights to a woman who marries a person from outside the state.
“My father (former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed) took great pride in the special status that J-K enjoys under Article 370. He would often mention that while people of the state have made great sacrifices for larger goals, we need to safeguard what we already have,” the PDP president wrote on Twitter.
My father took great pride in the special status that J&K enjoys under Article 370. He would often mention that while people of the state have made great sacrifices for larger goals, we need to safeguard what we already have. 1/2
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) August 3, 2018
Protests by the separatists, business and trade bodies and civil society organisations have rocked the Valley over the past few days against petitions demanding that Article 35A be repealed.
The separatists have called for a two-day strike on Aug 5-6 over the issue.