Friday, 23 August 2019

Indian government ends Kashmir’s special status

Image Credit: PTI

NEW DELHI: Amid escalating tension in occupied Kashmir following deployment of tens of thousands of additional troops, the Indian government on Monday has ended special status of the valley while scrapping articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution.

In a malicious attempt to turn Muslim majority into minority in Kashmir, the Indian president has signed a four-point amendment decree in this regard.

According to details, the announcement was made by Indian Home Minister Amit Shah during his address in Rajya Sabha, upper house of Indian parliament. Shah said, “Kashmir will no longer be a state. It will be divided into two union territories – Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and Ladakh, which will be without a legislature.”

He also told that the valley would be re-organized geographically.”

The revocation of the articles has allowed other non-Muslim Indian citizens to buy land in the valley while a separate legislative assembly will be established there for its own laws.

Meanwhile, a rumpus erupted in upper house of Indian parliament after opposition chanted slogans and protested against Shah’s suggestion to discuss the legislation seeking to end special status for Kashmir.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the BJP had “murdered the constitution today”.

n the other hand, authorities in occupied Kashmir placed large parts of the region under lockdown early Monday while India sent in tens of thousands of additional troops and traded accusations of clashes with Pakistan at their de facto border.

Communications were cut, with private mobile networks, internet services and telephone landlines cut, an AFP reporter said.

The state government ordered for Srinagar, “As per the order, there shall be no movement of public and all educational institutions shall also remain closed. There will be a complete bar on holding any kind of public meetings or rallies during the period of operation of this order.”

Universities, schools and colleges in Kashmir were ordered to be shut, and one district in that region was placed under lockdown.

 

What are Articles 370, 35A

Article 370 gives special autonomous status to the Kashmir which means that no one from other state will be allowed to buy land or become permanent citizen of the valley.

Whereas Article 35A, of the Indian Constitution 1954, provides special rights and privileges to the citizens of occupied Kashmir.

The laws had also reserved state government jobs for natives, as well as college places, in an effort to keep the state from being overrun by people from the rest of India.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) obtained a large parliamentary majority in recent elections and vowed to fulfill a long-held promise to scrap the laws.

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