Jammu and Kashmir will also be “reorganised,” said Home Minister Amit Shah as talk builds of the state being trifurcated into three distinct areas – Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh
Article 370 of the constitution, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, has been removed by presidential order, Home Minister Amit Shah said in parliament today. The announcement came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting of his cabinet at his house this morning. The rush decree signed by President Ram Nath Kovind comes into force “at once”. Jammu and Kashmir will also be “reorganized,” said the Home Minister, with the state’s bifurcation into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
- Article 370 gives Jammu and Kashmir its own constitution and decision-making rights for all matters barring defence, communications and foreign affairs.
- The removal of this part of the constitution ends special status for Kashmir, which was key to its accession to India in 1947.
- Article 370 made it necessary for the centre to get the state legislature’s approval for introducing any policies or constitutional powers to the state.
- Jammu and Kashmir will cease to be a state and become two Union Territories with two Lieutenant Governors. Ladakh will be a Union Territory without a legislature and Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature.
- The government’s huge step comes after a massive build-up of troops in the sensitive Kashmir Valley and a night where senior leaders including former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were placed under house arrest.
- Internet and phone lines have been forced out of service in parts of Jammu and Kashmir. Thousands of paramilitary troops have been sent to Kashmir after the government said it was cancelling the Amarnath Yatra, an annual pilgrimage, and asked tourists and outsiders to leave the state.
- The cabinet met this morning at the home of PM Modi after which all ministers and the PM moved to parliament for Amit Shah’s big announcement.
- All educational institutions and offices are closed and groups have been banned from gathering in Kashmir and Jammu.
- The President has signed off on the scrapping of Article 370 which makes Kashmir autonomous.
- Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had tweeted about his house arrest: “I believe I’m being placed under house arrest from midnight tonight & the process has already started for other mainstream leaders. No way of knowing if this is true but if it is then I’ll see all of you on the other side of whatever is in store. Allah save us.”
Article syndicated from NDTV.com