Kashmir to lose special status

Home minister moves resolution to scrap Art 370, Art 35A

GN Bureau | August 5, 2019


#Kashmir   #Jammu and Kashmir   #Narendra Modi   #Amit Shah   #Article 370   #Article 35A   #Ladakh  
Home minister Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha on Monday (image via Twitter)
Home minister Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha on Monday (image via Twitter)

In a historic move with long political repercussions, the Narendra Modi government on Monday moved to scrap the special status granted via Article 370 to Jammu and Kashmir, ending decades of debates over the controversial provisions and fulfilling a key promise of the ruling BJP.

Home minister Amit Shah moved a resolution in the Rajya Sabha that all clauses of Article 370 will not be applicable to Jammu and Kashmir. Furthermore, the government proposes to reorganize J&K, keeping Ladakh region as a union territory without legislature, and the turning the rest of the state as a union territory with legislature.

While the move, described as historic by Shah, came as a surprise, the government had prepared ground for it, taking precautions against any reactions from the ground. Last week, the ongoing Amarnath Yatra  in Kashmir was abruptly canceled, and on Sunday leading politicians including former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah were put under house arrest. Late Sunday night, Section 144 of the CrPC banning assembly of five or more people was imposed in Srinagar district. More security forces were being deployed in the restive border state.

Scrapping Article 370 – through which Kashmir became part of India but retains special status – along with a Ram temple in Ayodhya and a Uniform Civil Code have long been on the BJP agenda.

In parliament, the opposition created ruckus, with Ghulam Nabi Azad of Congress calling it a murder of the Constitution.  
 

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