Jammu & Kashmir: Article 370 revoked; J&K, Ladakh to be Union Territories

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India government, on Monday, introduced a resolution to remove Article 370, which provides special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

In addition, Home Minister Amit Shah also introduced a Bill bifurcating the State of Jammu of Kashmir into Union Territory of Ladakh and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill, introduced by Mr. Shah, the UT in Ladakh will have no legislature like Chandigarh while the other UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Delhi and Puducherry.

“The entire constitution will be applicable to Jammu and Kashmir state,” Shah said, ending the state’s rights to make its own laws. In a subsequent order, India’s president approved the government’s changes.

The step would also mean revocation of a bar on property purchases by people from outside the state. Such plans have in the past provoked warnings of a backlash in Kashmir, which is claimed by both India and Pakistan.

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

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party had pushed for an end to Kashmir’s special constitutional status, arguing that such laws had hindered its integration with the rest of India. Political leaders in Kashmir had warned that repeal of the law would trigger widespread unrest.

The move came amid mounting tension in the state where the government, in a midnight swoop, had put the top political leadership under detention and restricted their movement. It also suspended telecom/internet services in the state.

Published on 5 August 2019 - With inputs from Agencies

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