SRINAGAR: With the Supreme Court set to hear the petition on Article 35-A next week, the mainstream political parties, separatists and civil society groups in Kashmir have warned of “mass agitation” if the special constitutional position of the state is altered.

Amid simmering tensions, regional political parties have raised hubris over the sensitive issue in Kashmir while the separatists are also preparing to launch an agitation in case the apex court orders any tinkering of J&K’s special constitutional position.

“This is a larger ploy inspired by what Israel is doing to Palestinians to settle non-state subjects in Jammu and Kashmir and attack the identity of Kashmiris. We will not sit back and a mass agitation will be launched if the law is altered,” JKLF chairman Yasin Malik said.

Article 35 A, which defines permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir and prevents non-locals from buying or owning property in the state, was challenged by an NGO, ‘We the Citizens’ and other groups affiliated with Hindu rightwing organisations in the Supreme Court.

To raise awareness among the masses, the civil society groups last week organised a conference in Srinagar while the Hurriyat has been mobilising its cadre on how to deal with the situation in case the apex court strikes down the law.

Apprehending the worst, the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising of the veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, have called for a two-day strike in the valley on August 5 and 6.

The issue has also brought the mainstream politicians, separatists and civil society groups on a single platform who have unanimously denounced the attempts being made to dilute the special constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir.

“If the apex court strikes down the law, outsiders will take over Jammu and Kashmir and the jobs in government, which is the biggest employer, will be open for people outside the state. Such a scenario doesn’t bode well for the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Zafar A Shah, a prominent constitutional expert and lawyer, said.

Last week, former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti told a rally in Srinagar that she has conveyed her apprehensions to the Centre that the state turn into an “inferno” if Article 35-A is altered. National Conference president Farooq Abdullah too has cautioned against fiddling with the political status of J&K.