The Supreme Court is likely to hear petitions challenging Article 35A validity this week. State administration have made heavy deployment of security forces to check the law and order situation in the state after separatists called for a shutdown. Restrictions under Section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed in the Valley. Earlier, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had ordered deployment of 100 companies of paramilitary forces in the Kashmir Valley on an urgent basis. In a letter dated February 22, the government ordered deployment of forces with 'immediate effect' in addition to the number of forces already stationed in the state. The letter was addressed to the Jammu and Kashmir home secretary, the state Chief Secretary and the Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police.
Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has sought adjournment of hearing on Article 35 A.
"Our stand is clear. We have requested Supreme Court to defer hearing in the case,” Rohit Kansal, newly appointed spokesperson of the state government, said.
Kansal also appealed people not to pay heed to rumours about the movement of additional security forces in the state. The state government official said that additional troops have been deployed in the view of general elections.
“In the past few days several rumours have been circulated and panic messages disseminated. Most of these have been based on unsubstantiated or exaggerated pieces of information,” he said.
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Kansal said that there has been no change in the stand of the Governor’s administration on Article 35A, adding that only an elected government can take a stand on the issue before the Supreme Court.
Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was detained by the Jammu and Kashmir Police from his residence in Srinagar. He was shifted to the Kothibagh police station. Chief of Jama’at-e-Islami (JeI), a politico-religious organisation and dozens of other separatist leaders were also arrested.
Article 35A was added to the Constitution as a testimony of the special consideration the Indian government accorded to the ‘permanent residents’ of Jammu and Kashmir. Article 35A gives special rights to the Jammu and Kashmir’s permanent residents. It prohibits people from outside the state from buying or owning immovable property, settles permanently, or avail themselves of state-sponsored schemes.