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Sharp reactions as India move to revoke occupied Kashmir’s special status

Regional parties in Jammu and Kashmir had earlier called attempts to revoke Article 370 an aggression against the 7 million people living in the disputed region.

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Parts of India-administered Kashmir have been placed under lockdown and local politicians reportedly arrested amid growing tensions following a massive deployment of troops by the Indian government.

And the cat was out of the bag on Monday, as the Indian govt. moved a resolution in the Parliament scrapping of Articles 370 and 35A from Indian Constitution.

Home Minister Amit Shah announced in Rajya Sabha that the government has decided to repeal Article 370 of the Constitution which grants special status to J&K. The government has also decided to bifurcate the state into two Union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and Ladakh, which will be without a legislature. The bill was later signed by the Indian President.

India revokes disputed Kashmir’s special status; Article 370 scrapped

In the Valley, three of Jammu and Kashmir’s most prominent politicians, Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Sajjad Lone are under house arrest amid a massive security-built up in the state.

Internet services and mobile services have been suspended in several places and all public gatherings are banned in Srinagar district as section 144 was imposed from midnight.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s PTI has officially condemned the announcements made by India on abolishing Article 370, saying that no unilateral step by the Government of India can change this disputed status, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a tweet, said, “Pakistan condemns and rejects announcements made today by the Indian Government regarding Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir. We intend to firmly highlight our stance in our meetings with the US delegation visiting Pakistan and with the International Community at large.”

President of the Jammu & Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party and former chief minister of IoK Mehbooba Mufti, who was placed under house arrest along with former IoK chief minister Omar Abdullah have condemned Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) revocation of the special constitutional status of occupied Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution of India.

“Today marks the darkest day in Indian democracy. Decision of Jammu and Kashmir leadership to reject two nation theory in 1947 & align with India has backfired. Unilateral decision of Government of India to scrap Article 370 is illegal & unconstitutional which will make India an occupational force in J&K”, wrote Mehbooba Mufti in a tweet.

She further elaborated her stance in a series of tweets. Kashmiri leader somehow managed to use social media, as internet services have been shut down in IoK.

Omar Abdullah, Vice-President of National Conference and former chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir has also issued a statement over the latest development.

Indian opposition is protesting the BJP govt. move, while regional parties in occupied Kashmir have been calling attempts to revoke Article 370 an aggression against the people.

Congress Leader P Chidambaram said that by bringing a resolution on Article 370, the disintegration of India has begun. “The govt has illegally disintegrated J&K… this will set a precedent and allow the govt. to disintegrate any state as per its will and we will not stand by this,” he said.

Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar regretted that the government did not take Kashmiri leaders “into confidence”.

“I think Government of India should have taken leaders of the valley into confidence which unfortunately the government didn’t do. And then they should have taken the decision [to revoke 370],” India’s news agency ANI has quoted him as saying.

Furthermore, the reactions are pouring in on social media:

the authorSaman Siddiqui
Saman Siddiqui, A freelance journalist with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and MS in Peace and Conflict Studies. Associated with the media industry since 2006. Experience in various capacities including Program Host, Researcher, News Producer, Documentary Making, Voice Over, Content Writing Copy Editing, and Blogging, and currently associated with OyeYeah since 2018, working as an Editor.

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