Clashes erupted in Kashmir on Monday after rumours emerged that Article 35A has been scrapped by the Supreme Court. Article 35A of the Indian Constitution empowers the state government of Jammu and Kashmir to define ‘permanent residents’ of the state and provide them with special rights and privileges accordingly.
Authorities have also imposed a shutdown in Srinagar and some parts of the Kashmir valley, the Police confirmed. The state police have issued a statement saying, “Some sections of the media have circulated news regarding scrapping of the Article 35A. The news has been refuted as baseless. People are requested to maintain calm and not to pay heed to these rumours.”
“Spontaneous shutdown is being observed in many places in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, and Anantnag district in south Kashmir,” Economic Times quoted a police official as saying. “Shops and other business establishments, which had opened this morning, downed shutters after rumours of Article 35A being scrapped spread like wildfire and were circulated on social media,” the official said.
Clashes between stone pelters and security forces were reported in Anantnag and several other districts. Authorities were also forced to decrease the speed of the internet in the Valley. The separatists have called for a general shutdown on Friday and Saturday to demonstrate the public support for the Article.
The Supreme Court is set to hear a fresh petition regarding the scrapping of Article 35A which triggered the rumours.