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Should Article 35A be scrapped: Gujjar leader warns of strong protests

Should Article 35A be scrapped: Gujjar leader warns of strong protests
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A leader of Gujjar and Bakerwal communities in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday warned of strong protests if attempts were made to scrap Article 35A of the Constitution, which grants special status to permanent residents of the State

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Jammu: A leader of Gujjar and Bakerwal communities in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday warned of strong protests if attempts were made to scrap Article 35A of the Constitution, which grants special status to permanent residents of the State.

Shamsher Hakla Poonchi said the Article is in the interests of the people of the state and vested interests are hatching a conspiracy to deprive the people of the special constitutional provision.

"The strong Gujjar and Bakerwal population, living in all the districts except Leh and Kargil in Ladakh region, are in favour of Article 35A," Shamsher Hakla Poonchi said in a statement here.

Article 35A, accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of J&K and denies property rights to a woman who marries a person from outside the state. It is currently facing a legal challenge in the Supreme Court.

It empowers the state legislature to frame any law without attracting a challenge on the grounds of violation of the Right to Equality of people from other states or any other right under the Constitution.

"If Article 35A is removed, Gujjars-Bakerwals will strongly protest against it," the Gujjar leader said.

The Supreme Court had on August 6 adjourned hearing on a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A, saying its three-judge bench has been hearing the case and will consider whether it has to be referred to a larger bench.

The apex court has listed the matter for hearing in the week commencing August 27.

Bainsla urges Raje to resolve Gujjar quota issue

Jodhpur: Gujjar quota agitation leader Kirori Singh Bainsla on Sunday urged Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to resolve the reservation issue.

Otherwise, he warned, the community would unite with Rebaris and Rajputs to support the party "which will identify" with their reservation demands in the Assembly election.

The leader of Gujjar reservation movement was here on Sunday to meet the representatives of the Rebari community and discuss with them the issue of reservation and various other social issues.

"We have been peacefully awaiting our demand to be met since four and a half years of the BJP government's rule and we wish Raje to intervene personally in the matter," he said.

On the community's stand in the upcoming election, Bainsla said, apart from Gujjar community, Rebari and Rajput communities have also been demanding reservation.

"We would unite in our crusade for reservation and would support this election those who would identify with our demand and give us reservation," Bainsla said.

Assembly elections in Rajasthan are likely to take place in November-December.

"Rebari community is the most backward class in Jodhpur and we discussed various issues pertaining to reservation and social development of the communities," Bainsla said, adding reservation was a necessary way for any backward class to abolish the evil social practices and get to the path of development.

Expressing his disappointment with both the BJP and the Congress with respect to the reservation to the Gujjars, Bainsla said his struggle has been going on for the last 17 years and would go on until they are not given reservation.

"We kept struggling for our issue with the successive governments, but they kept denying reservation to us. Governments' tactics are to delay, defuse and deny ultimately," he said.

On July 1, the Rajasthan government had said that five castes, including Gujjars, under the most backward classes (MBC), are also entitled to the 21 per cent quota under the OBC category for admission to educational institutions and recruitment in government jobs in the state.

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