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(Mail Online) J&K`marginalised cite woes as saffron brigade escalates war against Articale 35A

स्रोत: Acharya Abhinav Gupt       तारीख: 11-Jul-2015


Delhi-based think tank Jammu Kashmir Study Circle (JKSC), a body close to the RSS, widened the ambit of the legal battle against Jammu and Kashmir's special status as several communities marginalised due to Article 35A lodged complaints with quasi-judicial bodies looking into rights violations.

The news came just a day after the organisation announced that it was moving the Supreme Court against special privileges in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Under the aegis of the JKSC, several women, members of the dalit community, especially safai karmacharis, along with members of the Gurkha community and West Pakistan refugees who had migrated to the state during the Partition, lodged formal complaints of rights violations with the National Commission for Women, National Commissions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, National Human Rights Commission and the National Commission for Safai Karmacharis.  

The complaints were lodged on Friday.

On Saturday, the JKSC organised a seminar on the plight of affected communities that have allegedly been denied their Fundamental Rights in Jammu and Kashmir owing to the provisions of Article 35A. 

 

“Article 35A is the cornerstone of discrimination in Jammu and Kashmir. It will be ideal if the Supreme Court takes suo motu cognisance of the issue. Otherwise, we will move the apex court. We have constituted a group of leading constitutional experts to prepare a petition,” said JKSC secretary Ashutosh Bhatnagar. 

Article 35A was added to the Constitution of India through an Executive Order in 1954, without knowledge of Parliament, JKSC maintains. 

The seminar, organised at the Constitution Club, was attended by representatives of the affected communities --- women, Valmikis, Gurkhas and West Pakistan Refugees --- who shared their plight with the media and narrated their tales of victimisation due to the provisions of the Article.

“My forefathers were invited to Jammu and Kashmir in 1957 as a safai karmachari from Amritsar in Punjab along with 272 other families when the local karmacharis had struck work. 

"The Civil Services Regulation 35B said his family could stay in the state only so far as his future generations continued to be safai karmacharis. So the prerequisite for our permanent residency in the state has doomed us to be scavengers for generations by law,” said Gharu Bhatti from Jammu. 

Bhatti is part of the Valmiki community in the state. 

Meanwhile, Captain (retired) Raghunandan Singh, a Gurkha member, said the community had been placed at great odds by Article 35A. 

“Gurkhas of Jammu and Kashmir cannot get recruited in the Army because they do not have the Permanent Resident Certificate. On the other hand, Gurkhas from places like Darjeeling, Assam, Dharamshala, etc are recruited. Gurkhas of Jammu and Kashmir go to other states to be recruited in the Army,” said Singh. 

Rashmi Sharma from Jammu too narrated her story. 

“We are unable to offer any security to our children,” she said. 

Herself a “permanent resident” of the state, she is married to Sanjeev Sharma who does not have ‘permanent resident’ status as his mother, a ‘permanent resident’, had married a non-permanent resident from Himachal Pradesh. 

“We are a family where two generations of women find themselves caught in a terrible state of statelessness because we married men who do not hold the Permanent Resident Certificate needed under Article 35A."