New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the hearing on pleas challenging the validity of Article 35A to 27 August, in the wake of simmering protests in Kashmir. “It is an issue to be decided by the constitution bench of the Supreme Court".

Since Sunday, Kashmir has witnessed widespread shutdown in support of Article 35A, which guarantees special privileges to the state. The apex court heard a batch of petitions in the matter, including the one filed by an NGO, We the Citizens, which has sought the revocation of the article.

Protests continued in the Valley and shops and businesses remained shut, while additional forces have been deployed across sensitive locations in Kashmir to pre-empt any episode of violence.

The Valley witnessed peaceful protests in support of Article 35A. This constitutional provision bars people from outside Jammu and Kashmir to acquire any immovable property in the state.

Article 35A of the Indian Constitution empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents" of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents

“Even though the deferment of hearing on Article 35A is not a solution, it has brought interim relief to the people of JK. But with uncertainty looming over its status, it has unleashed a wave of anxiety and panic amongst the people of J & K," former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said in a post on Twitter.

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