Kashmir on edge over Article 35-A hearing in Supreme Court, Home Ministry deploys 100 companies of paramilitary forces

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Published: February 23, 2019 5:00:47 PM

Ahead of the crucial Supreme Court hearing on the validity of Article 35-A Monday, the Jammu and Kashmir authorities have launched a massive crackdown on the separatists.

Article 35A hearing, KashmirKashmir on edge over Article 35-A hearing in Supreme Court, Home Ministry deploys 100 companies of paramilitary forces

Ahead of the crucial Supreme Court hearing on the validity of Article 35-A Monday, the Jammu and Kashmir authorities have launched a massive crackdown on the separatists. Also, the Centre has ordered urgent deployment of over 100 companies of paramilitary forces in Kashmir on urgent basis to check law and order situation.

In a letter dated February 22, the Home Ministry ordered deployment of forces with immediate effect. This is in addition to the number of forces already stationed in the troubled state.

“We have to urgently deploy CAPFs in Jammu & Kashmir. It is requested to provide 100 convoys of CAPFs (CRPF – 45, BSF-35, SSB-10 & ITBP 10) to Government of J&K with immediate effect and till further orders,” read an MHA letter to the state administration. The copies of the letter have been also sent to IG (Ops) to CRPF, BSF, ITBP and SSB.

“IG (ops), CRPF is requested to ensure immediate movement of forces in coordination with IG (ops) of all forces,” it further reads.

Normal life in Kashmir has been affected adversely due to shutdown called by separatists in support of Article 35-A of the Constitution which gives special powers to the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to define residents and their rights. A petition seeking abrogation of Article 35-A is being heard by the Supreme Court.

Several separatists have been detained by the government who have called a two-day strike in support of the article.

In a tweet, former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has questioned the legality of the crackdown on separatists saying that arbitrary move will only precipitate matters in the state.

“In the past 24 hours, Hurriyat leaders & workers of Jamaat organisation have been arrested. Fail to understand such an arbitrary move which will only precipitate matters in J&K. Under what legal grounds are their arrests justified? You can imprison a person but not his ideas,” Mehbooba tweeted while reacting to the government crackdown on separatists and Jamaat-e-Islami which began Friday night.

JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik and over two dozen Jamaat leaders, including its chief Abdul Hamid Fayaz, have already been detained.

Meanwhile, shops and other businesses remained closed in Kashmir on Saturday and public transport went off the roads.

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