Days after former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said that 'those who will touch Article 35 A will burn to ashes', the PDP chief on Wednesday, July 31 toured several districts in the state of Jammu and Kashmir to unite her cadre on the status of article. Even though Centre or the Home Ministry has not declared any decision or announced any action over the status of Article 35-A as the matter is sub-judice, fearmongering by Mufti in the valley continues. The PDP chief visited the districts of Anantnag and Kulgam till 2 PM of the day and will visit Pulwama and Shopian later in the day.
In Anantnag, Mufti said after her meeting with the leaders, "My reason to visit Anantnag today is a part of a larger plan. I will visit other districts too and meet party cadres. I met special workers today and I appealed to them that they should meet leaders of their area across party lines - be it NC, Cong or BJP and tell them that we should stand against the attack on Jammu and Kashmir. We must unite."
On Sunday, Mehbooba Mufti attempted to provoke people of the valley. In a controversial remark, she while addressing workers on PDP foundation day, said, "people who are trying to touch Article 35 A will not only burn their hand but their entire body will be burned." She threatened violence if the status of the Article 35 A is changed.
Speaking to media after visiting Kulgam district on July 31 Mehbooba Mufti said: "We called workers over the rumours that Article 35 A will be abolished by the Centre. We all must unite over it. Not only PDP, but workers of other parties NC , Congress even BJP workers in the state should unite to save the status for the sake of Jammu and Kashmir. The fight for election is different but when it comes to Article 35 A, we must give a message that we are ready to die for the sake of its status."
In what may be called a provokation, Mufti on Sunday said: "Meddling with Article 35 A is like touching ammunitions, people who are trying to touch Article 35 A will not only burn their hand but their entire body will be burned. Kashmiris need to protect what we have, we have our own constitution, we have a status which doesn’t allow people from outside to buy property here. The conditions that prevail the valley today are scary, JK bank has been finished and slowly they are trying to finish everything. We want to tell Delhi that touching Article 35 A will be like touching dynamite. We will defend Kashmir till our last breath." (35A ke saath chhedd chhadd karna baarood ko haath lagaane ke baraabar hoga. Jo haath 35A ke saath chhedd chaadd karne ke liye uthenge wo haath hi nahi wo saara jism jal ke raakh ho jaega.)
She went on to question the killing of militants in the valley by the forces. She alleged that common men are being killed in the valley in name of militancy.
"Jammu and Kashmir needs to get out of this situation, even if we die in the process. There are dead bodies which were killed in the name of militancy. Can we Kashmiris forget this. When you go home, go to their graves and remember them."
In Febraury this year, Mufti stoked controversy after her statement that no one will hoist Indian flag if the status of Article 35 A is tampered. "Any unnecessary fiddling with or tampering with Article 35 A will nullify the contract itself that legitimises the union of J&K with India. I want to tell them, don't play with fire. Don't fiddle with 35A. If you do so the consequences will be so grave that you'll see such things which you would have not seen since 1947."
Incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential order, Article 35 A defines the permanant residents of the state of Jammu and Kashmir by giving special rights and privileges to the state subjects. It stems from Article 370 that gives autonomous right to Jammu and Kashmir.
The article is also referred to as Permanent Residents Law and bars woman belonging to the state from any property rights if she marries a person from outside the state. Even the children of such women do not get the right as they do not have any succession rights over the property.
After a petition was filed by Jammu and Kashmir Governor to delay the hearing of Article 35 A in the wake of Lok Sabha polls, no date has been decided on it.
Meanwhile, National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah on Thursday said the Centre should repose its faith in the Supreme Court. He added that the Centre should not fearmonger on its status and put people of Jammu and Kashmir in a state of panic.
"Do they not believe in the final decree of the Supreme Court of India? Contrary to the disdain the incumbent central government has for the rule of law and the procedures established by the law of the country, our party has reposed its faith in the Supreme Court. The matter is sub-judice, therefore it (Supreme Court) should be kept aloof from politicking. I would appeal (to the) government of India to refrain from commenting on the issue till the final verdict comes," Omar Abdullah added.