Jammu and Kashmir leaders Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah warned that interfering with Article 35A of the Constitution would have “serious and far-reaching” consequences in the state.

The article, incorporated into the Indian Constitution in 1954, grants special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir. On Sunday, the state government said it has sought adjournment of the hearing of a plea challenging Article 35A in the Supreme Court. The court is set to hear the case from Tuesday to Thursday.

“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,” former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said, according to ANI.

National Conference leader and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah urged the Centre and the governor to hold elections in the state, which has been under President’s rule since December. “So, hold elections, let people take the decision, the new government will itself work towards safeguarding Article 35A,” ANI quoted him as saying.

Abdullah said the situation in the state would become worse than Arunachal Pradesh if rights under Article 35A and Article 370 of the Constitution are tampered. Article 370 grants special, autonomous status to the state.

“They threaten us every day with [Article] 35A,” Abdullah told party functionaries in Srinagar on Monday, according to PTI. “I want to tell the Centre that see the situation in Arunachal Pradesh, where there is no militancy, no stone-pelting. A peaceful state like Arunachal Pradesh is also up in flames. The people there have hit the roads in order to save their permanent resident status.”

Abdullah said the violent protests in Arunachal Pradesh against granting permanent resident certificates to six minority communities should act as an “eye-opener to those who are inimical to Article 370, Article 35A”. “Any misadventure in fiddling with the state’s special status will unarguably have serious and far-reaching consequences in Jammu and Kashmir.”

Abdullah said his remarks were not a threat, but it was his duty to warn Delhi about the consequences of tampering with Kashmir’s special status.