Former Jammu and Kashmir MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid on Sunday claimed that the Centre is “trying to create fear psychosis” among the masses, PTI reported. “Engineer” Rashid also asked the Narendra Modi-led government to take concrete steps to resolve the Kashmir problem.
He demanded that the Centre clarify on rumours that additional security forces are to be deployed in the state. “The government should respond to rumours being spread not only by various quarters, but also by government officials over the deployment of additional forces and intentions of the Centre,” Rashid said in Srinagar. “New Delhi should stop experimenting in Jammu and Kashmir and take concrete steps for the resolution of Kashmir issue.”
Rashid also cautioned the Centre against “fiddling with Article 35-A or Article 370”. These articles are not concessions made to Kashmir but are a part of various commitments and constitutional guarantees given to Kashmiris by the government, he said. “It is unfortunate that rather [than] finding a permanent solution to the 70-year-long issue, the Centre is playing with fire,” Rashid said.
Article 35A of the Indian Constitution grants special rights and privileges pertaining to jobs, and property ownership, among other things, to those defined as “permanent residents” of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Article 370 grants autonomy to the state.
Earlier on Sunday, former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had also warned the Centre against revoking Article 35A. “We want to tell the central government that tinkering with Article 35A will be akin to setting a powder keg on fire,” the Peoples Democratic Party president said. “If any hand tries to touch Article 35A, not only that hand, but that whole body will be burnt to ashes.”