“Jo haath 35A ke saath ched chaad karne ke liye uthenge, wo haath hi nahi wo saara jism jal ke raakh ho jaega” (not only will the hand, which will raise to tamper with 35A, burn, but the whole body will burn to ashes)… We have to fight this. No other political party can stand up against this. I read Omar’s (Abdullah) statement on Article 35A in which he told New Delhi not to touch it and leave it for the Supreme Court. I am asking you is there anyone from J&K who is ready for any tinkering with Article 35A either by the Central government or by the Supreme Court?… In this fight for which we are preparing, they can even send Mehbooba behind bars. But, do not get worried. Anything can happen, but I assure the people that the PDP will fight till the last for safeguarding the special status of J&K,” ranted former Chief Minister of J&K and Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti, while speaking during the foundation day of the PDP. She said touching Article 35A would be akin to setting a powder keg on fire and warned New Delhi of a “bloodbath if it fiddled with the special status of the state”.
Mr. Omar Abdullah, while referring to the matter of abrogation of Articles 370 and 35 A as sub-judice and singing praises of slain terrorist leaders Burhan Wani and Zakir Musa, recently commented: “Today we are hearing that the state will be trifurcated. However let me make it very clear that any misadventure in this direction will set the state on fire. Any anticipated trifurcation of the state won’t limit itself to regions. Any whimsical attempt to trifurcate the state will eventually divide the state on religious lines. In those circumstances the state will be divided on Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist lines,” he said adding, “What is it that the New Delhi wants to suggest by proposing such far-fetched ideas…Do they mean that the slogan of Sher-e- Kashmir (his grandfather Sheikh Abdulla) on Hindu-Muslim unity was erroneous? If yes, let them come forward and make it public. As far as our party (National Conference) is concerned we reject any idea of dividing the state on religious and regional lines, our vision of Jammu and Kashmir is shorn of communal, regional overtones. We stand for a united state, with equitable justice for all the sections of society living across the state. We will safe guard the prized diversity of our state come what may.”
While Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s first visit to J&K after his assuming the appointment raised speculations that the BJP government is planning to revoke Article 35A after August 15, the Centre rushing 100 companies of central armed police forces to the state only added weight to the rumours causing jitters to many out of power leaders quite accustomed to being very comfortable with India-bashing, Army-bashing, supporting Pakistan/pro-Pakistan activities, being hard core or soft core separatists/traitors etc while enjoying all the benefits of the Indian system. For almost seventy years since Independence, the Abdullah’s, Muftis/other chief ministers of J&K did nothing to prevent the spread of anti-India sentiment and activities. Pakistani and even ISIS flags, pro-Pakistani/anti India slogans were tolerated or ignored. Thanks to the Indian Army’s vigil on the Line of Control, terrorism was reduced to the extent that tourism began to flourish. Once again, this became too much for Pakistan’s directors of anti-India operations. New tactics like paid stone-pelting were developed to raise them to the level of hectoring the Army and SFs during their operations. PDP went even further by filing FIRs against Army/security forces personnel for doing their duty while being stoned and even petrol-bombed. Over 40 schools were destroyed. Even Kashmiri Army personnel like Lt Umar Fayaz and Rifleman Aurangzeb, many Kashmiri J&K police personnel and Editor of Rising Kashmir, Shujaat Bukhari, were all brutally killed, that too during wedding celebrations and the Ramzan ceasefire.
In a bold decision, the Government has removed the Special status accorded to the state via Articles 370 and 35A and has bifurcated the state on 6 August 2019 for better development and delivery of services to the people. The bluff of the hard and soft liners has been called and the state can now look forward to peace and development in the years to come.