The Supreme Court is likely to hear petitions challenging Article 35A validity this week. Former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has said that Article 370 is the constitutional connection between Jammu and Kashmir and the Indian Union. Sending out a warning in the aftermath of any ruling tampering the article she said that no one should blame Kashmiris for the developments that will follow such a hare-brained decision. 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.
Taking to micro-blogging website Twitter, Mehbooba Mufti in a series of tweets wrote: “Article 370 is the constitutional connection between Jammu and Kashmir and the Indian Union. The instrument of accession is contingent on Article 370, which is inextricably linked to Article 35A. Any tampering will render the Treaty of Accession null and void. Before taking a decision, the Government of India must consider that J&K was the only Muslim-majority state that chose a secular India over Pakistan during Partition,” she said.
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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.
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.