Article 370 removed, Government proposes bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir

The Indian Government rushed through a presidential decree to scrap the special status for the state of Jammu and Kashmir, hours after imposing a major security clampdown in the state.

Union Home  Minister Amit Shah told the Upper House, the Rajya Sabha that the president had signed a decree abolishing Article 370 of the constitution that gives special autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir.

The law, Article 370 of the Constitution, forbid Indians outside the state from permanently settling, buying land, holding local government jobs and securing education scholarships.

The decree said the measure came into force “at once”.

Shah also added that the government also decided to split the state into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and Ladakh, which will be ruled directly by the central government without a legislature of its own.

With the revoking of Article 370 the government hopes to change the demographics of the state by allowing non-Kashmiris to reside in the state.

Kashmiri leaders issued a statement, warning “against any tinkering with the special status of the region” as guaranteed under Article 35A of the Indian constitution.

Article 35A of India’s constitution permits the local legislature in Jammu and Kashmir to define permanent residents of the region. The article came into being in 1954 by a presidential order under the constitution’s Article 370.

On Sunday, the Kashmir was placed under lockdown and local politicians were placed under house arrest amid massive deployment of troops.

Source : Various

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