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Among former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's shocking remarks threatening of repercussions worse than 1947 if Article 35A was 'fiddled with' were statements that can only be seen as entailing a word of warning to the Supreme Court, which is set to hear a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the article relating to the special rights and privileges enjoyed by the people of J&K, between February 26 and 28.
She began by drawing an election link to the entire matter and by questioning the apex court, repeating once again her support for 2001 Parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru whose interred remains her party has recently demanded be brought from Tihar jail to Jammu and Kashmir, saying, "Unfortunately, whenever there are elections in our country, the issue of J&K is raised. If you remember before 2014 elections, Afzal Guru was sent to the gallows in a hurry and that time the Supreme Court stated that it is to satisfy the collective conscience of the country."
Addressing the Supreme Court directly, she proceeded, "Today, again, the Supreme Court has to make a decision", adding, "I have very high regard for the Supreme Court but I want them to understand that our relationship with the country, the bridge connecting us with India is Article 370 of which 35A is a part. Any unnecessary fiddling with or tampering with it will nullify the contract itself that legitimises the union of J&K with India."
She then issued a warning by making innuendos about the Indian Flag: "It is my request that don't do such a thing, because if such a thing happens, the consequences will be grave. Those people who still raise the Indian flag, for them, after this, it'll be even tough to give a shoulder to the flag."
It was only after this that she came to target the government with a more direct warning, prefacing it by saying, "This is a very humble submission to powers in our country, there is no assurance from the central government as well", but then getting more direct, "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"
Mufti then claimed that she was working with the other major regional party in the state - the JKNC - regarding the matter, and concluded with another more provocative warning about the Tiranga:
"Regional parties like National Conference - I had a word with Omar Abdullah and discussed with him to make a strategy - strategy to safeguard Article 35A from any sort of attack, because if that happens then I don't know which flag the people of J&K will be forced to raise instead of the Tiranga. And when they do, don't complain that we did not warn you. Don't push the people of J&K, status of all.
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