The controversy over Article 35A, which empowers Jammu and Kashmir’s legislature to define the State's permanent residents and their special rights and privileges, have put separatists and mainstream political parties in the valley on the same page, with both defending it tooth and nail.

Under Article 35A, the State laws bar non-residents from purchasing land in the State.

Recently, at a party rally, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah said that opposition parties and the people would oppose any move to abrogate Article 35A of the Constitution.

He said National Conference had made high sacrifices to fight for the unity, integrity and dignity of Jammu and Kashmir and it will continue to thwart any attempts to erode Article 35A.

The threat of abrogation of Article 35A is leading to difficult situations in the valley, which is going through its worst phase of militancy.

“This act came into existence in 1954 and now no one can erode it. It is the responsibility of both the governments, central and State, to protect it. Even the people of Jammu and Kashmir will unite together and will fight for it,” former minister Ghulam Hassan Mir told MyNation.

He said there was no question of any plans to attack it, and they wouldn’t allow it.

Kashmir Economic Alliance has called for a complete shutdown and UN Chalo on 6 August to protest any attempt to tinker with Article 35A and warned that any tinkering with the law would worsen the situation in the State.

The alliance has appealed to Supreme Court to dismiss the PILs filed against the special status of J&K.

Yesterday, Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Geelani, chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik held a crucial meeting at Geelani's residence in Hyderpora and threatened to launch a mass agitation against any move on Article 35A. They have called for a complete shutdown on 5 and 6 August.

Pertinently, the apex court is hearing petitions challenging Article 35A on 6 August.

Meanwhile, State BJP leaders have maintained silence on the issue and have left the decision to the Supreme Court.