Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti on Monday warned the government on Article 35A, saying if it's scrapped, the country might see what it hasn't seen since 1947. "Don't play with fire, don't fiddle with Article-35A, else you will see what you haven't seen since 1947. If it's attacked then I don't know which flag people of J&K will be forced to pick up instead of the tricolour," Mufti said.
“I have spoken to Omar Abdullah and we are making a strategy on how to tackle the situation. Don’t push the people of this state to the wall… I would like to appeal to all the people to come together. We all need to sit together and decide how we save our party,” she said.
She said if there is any tampering in Article 35A, leave aside someone hoisting the Indian flag, there would not be anyone to shoulder it.
“We all have to resist this, even if we hit the streets.”
On Sunday, the PDP president said any tinkering with Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution, which provide special status to Jammu and Kashmir, will render null and void the state's Instrument of Accession with India. "Article 370 is the constitutional connection between J&K & Indian Union. The instrument of accession is contingent on Article 370 which is inextricably linked to Article 35A. Any tampering will render Treaty of Accession null & void," Mehbooba said in a series of tweets.
She said Kashmir Valley is rife with speculation about the status of Article 35A. "Before taking a decision, GoI (Government of India) must consider that J&K was the only Muslim-majority state that chose a secular India over Pak during partition," she added.
Mehbooba cautioned that Kashmiris should not be blamed for the developments if the special provision was scrapped. "Those frothing at the mouth & calling for its removal shouldn't blame Kashmiris for the developments that will follow such a hare-brained decision," she said.
Meanwhile, the state administration has 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.