At least 12 people sustained injuries after clashes broke out between protesters and security forces in Kashmir following the “rumours” about the scrapping of Article 35-A, police said. Several people gathered across the Valley following a report that the Supreme Court will hear the petition challenging the validity of Article 35-A, which grants special rights and privileges to the people of Jammu and Kashmir
The protests turned violent after rumours of the apex court scrapping Article 35-A with people pelting stones on security forces deployed on law and order duties, prompting them to baton charge and fire tear gas shells to disperse the ground.
Security forces also used pellet guns at some places to restore law and order. In the action, 12 people received injuries. The violent protests broke out in several parts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian, Budgam, Sopore and Ganderbal.
The spontaneous shutdown was observed at many places in the valley as rumours about scrapping of Article 35-A started doing rounds on social media.
“Spontaneous shutdown was observed in many places in the valley, including Srinagar—the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir,” a police official said.
He said while the shops and other business establishments had opened this morning, the shutters were downed after the rumours, he said.
The official said announcements were made on loudspeakers that Article 35-A has been scrapped and people were asked to observe a strike and come out on streets.
Meanwhile, police, in a statement, requested people to maintain calm and not pay heed to rumours.
“Some sections of media circulated news regarding article 35-A. The news is refuted as baseless. People are requested to maintain calm and not to pay heed to rumours. The main hearing is on 31st of August,” the statement said.
Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the “spontaneous and sharp reaction” of the people of Kashmir to a rumour about Article 35-A of the Constitution should be an “eye-opener” for the government that no “tampering” would be tolerated with the constitutional provision.
(With PTI inputs)