Following rumours about scrapping of Article 35A, several parts of Kashmir observed spontaneous shut down today.Reports also said that clashes broke out between security forces and youths soon after the rumour spread. Spontaneous shutdown was witnessed in many places like Srinagar and Anantnag district in south Kashmir.Announcements on scrapping of Article 35A were made on loudspeakers, they said adding that people were asked to come out in protest and observe strike."Shops and other business establishments, which had opened this morning, downed shutters after rumours of Article 35A being scrapped spread like wild fire and were circulated on social media.In Shopian, as many as twenty two people were injured in violent protests triggered by the rumour.Early morning, the students of Government Degree College (GDC) Shopian hit the streets and staged a protest over the fresh plea moved by a BJP spokesperson seeking abrogation of Article-35A, witnesses told Kashmir Reader. The protesting students, they said clashed with government forces deployed around Jamia Masjid, Shopian.“We received 22 people with pellet injuries. Six among them were referred to SMHS Srinagar for advanced treatment,” a senior doctor at district hospital Shopian told Press Trust of Kashmir over Phone.In Kulgam, forces entered government Degree College Kulgam and allegedly thrashed students and the staff.
Students while taking to Press Trust of Kashmir over phone said that forces barged into the college and allegedly ran amok beating every student whosoever they came across”. The students alleged that the forces also beat up female students and staffers without any reason or rhyme.Meanwhile SSP Kulgam, Harmeet Singh denied allegations that his men entered the college and thrashed students.In Pulwama, clashes erupted in main town of Pulwama after news spread this morning that the Supreme Court was hearing a petition challenging Article- 35A of the constitution.Early morning, scores of people, mostly youth took to streets and staged a protest when news spread that the Apex Court was hearing a petition challenging Article-35A, eyewitnesses told Press trust of Kashmir over Phone.In Anantnag: Violent protests also broke out in Anantnag following rumours that the Supreme Court was hearing a case challenging Article-35A continuation in the state. Angry protesters, witnesses said clashed with government forces by hurling rocks at them.In Srinagar, commotion ruled Srinagar’s commercial hub Lal Chowk. All shops, commercial establishments and private offices in Lal Chowk area were closed amid the confusion.
Minor clashes erupted near Amira Kadal in the commercial hub.In Ganderbal: Students of Govt Degree College Ganderbal and Govt higher secondary school Ganderbal also took out a protest.The Students of Govt Degree College Ganderbal boycotted their classes and took out a strong protest march towards Beehama chowk and later they were joined by students of Government higher secondary school Ganderbal raising pro freedom, and anti-India slogans. The protesting students were holding placards in their hands, showing different messages about safeguarding the Article-35A. Shopkeepers had already started pulling down their shutters in protest, witnesses said.In Sopore, scores of students clashed with the forces .The students of Degree College Sopore came out from the college campus and started pelting stones on the forces deployed at Main Chowk.Earlier in a statement, police appealed to people to maintain calm and not pay heed to rumours."Some sections of media circulated news regarding Article 35A. The news is refuted as baseless. People are requested to maintain calm and not to pay heed to rumour. The main hearing is on August 31,” the statement said.Article 35A accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and is facing a legal challenge in the top court. It was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order. (PTK)