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Protest over women property rights in Jammu
Jammu, Mar 17 (IANS)
Published on 18 Mar. 2010 12:08 AM IST
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About 100 lawyers were arrested here Wednesday when they tried to lay a siege around the state assembly to oppose a bill moved last week in the upper house that seeks to deprive women of their permanent resident rights if they marry outside Jammu and Kashmir. More than 150 lawyers of the Jammu Bar Association marched from the high court complex to the civil secretariat where they were intercepted by police. The protesters resisted and around 100 of them were arrested when they attempted to march towards the legislature complex adjacent to the secretariat, the association said. They were demanding the withdrawal of the Permanent Resident (Disqualification) Bill that was moved March 8 by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member. The bill deprives women of the right to own and inherit immovable property, get government jobs, voting and other privileges if they marry non-state subjects. In Jammu and Kashmir, only permanent residents enjoy these rights as the state enjoys special status under Article 370 of the Indian constitution. The bill was one of the biggest controversies during the PDP-Congress rule in 2004. Moved by the PDP then, it was passed by the state assembly, but failed to sail through the state council when the Congress opposed it following nationwide criticism. If passed, those affected would include the younger daughter of former chief minister and PDP patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, and two daughters of union Minister Farooq Abdullah, who are married to men not residents of the state. “We will continue to fight against this bill until it is withdrawn,” said Sunil Sethi of the Jammu Bar Association.

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