Ahead of Article 35-A hearing, high fear looms large in Kashmir | KNO

100 companies of additional forces arrive in Srinagar, Crackdown on 100 Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, activists sparks fears, Malik detained, Mirwiaz, Mehbooba condemn arrest spree, people stock essentials
Ahead of Article 35-A hearing, high fear looms large in Kashmir | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, February 23 (KNO) : High tension is brewing across Kashmir as emergency like situation is being witnessed on ground with police launching a crackdown on the Jamaat-e-Islami by detaining all its leaders including the party chief besides 100 additional companies arriving in Srinagar on war-footing basis, reliable sources told KNO. These steps were taken in the wake of likely hearing of hereditary article 35 A before the Supreme Court of India on Monday. The police late on late night Friday detained JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik while there are rumours that Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani and Hurriyat (M) chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq would be detained and lodged somewhere in New Delhi to prevent them from pulling crowds. With grape-wine ripe with the rumours that article 35 A would be scrapped; a spontaneous shutdown was observed in the city centre Lal Chowk and parts of downtown. According to sources, during nocturnal raids, at least 50 JeI leaders including its chief Abdul Hameed Fayaz were detained by police and lodged in various police stations across Kashmir. The arrest spree triggered panic across the Valley with Mirwaiz and the PDP chief condemning the arbitrary detentions of JeI leaders and also the JKLF chief. Sources said that raids are being conducted across Kashmir to detain middle rung separatist leaders and also those having potential to pull crowds. “This indicates some decision has been taken about the Article 35 A as the case is listed on Monday,” he said. The article 35 is in vogue since 1947 and under this hereditary law; no outsider is allowed to buy land or any other property in Jammu and Kashmir. If the law goes, all the outsides would be entitled to buy and sell land in J&K and there are apprehensions, according to the Hurriyat leaders, that the Muslim majority region would be converted into Muslim minority state.” Interestingly, 100 companies of paramilitary forces including CRPF, ITP SSB, and BSF have been airlifted to Srinagar while top police brass is maintaining a close watch on the developments. A top police officer said that the additional companies were sought for upcoming elections as the election commission of India team was arriving in J&K on March 5 to review the situation. The overall security drill in Kashmir has resulted in a tremendous panic in the Valley with people trying hard to inquire about the exact situation. “We just heard that article 35 A would go on Monday. Some are saying decision has been taken some claim it is a rumour. But there is panic all around in Kashmir,” Shabir Ahmed, a shopkeeper in Lal Chowk told KNO. The panic stricken people of Kashmir were seen stocking essentials including vegetables, cereals, rice and medicine.