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.
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.”
Pakistan reaffirms it's abiding commitment to the Kashmir cause and its political, diplomatic and moral support to the people of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir for realization of their inalienable right to self-determination. 2/2 https://t.co/f6zBVKeoMJ
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) August 5, 2019
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.
Today marks the darkest day in Indian democracy. Decision of J&K leadership to reject 2 nation theory in 1947 & align with India has backfired. Unilateral decision of GOI to scrap Article 370 is illegal & unconstitutional which will make India an occupational force in J&K.
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) August 5, 2019
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.
Statement of Omar Abdullah, Vice-President of National Conference and former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, on revoking of Article 370 and other decisions announced by Government of India. pic.twitter.com/L9RXggb10k
— ANI (@ANI) August 5, 2019
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:
Today's decision violates all the principles invoked by Vajpayee: insaniyat, jamhuriat, kashmiriyat.
This unconstitutional move plays into the hands of separatists and Pak sponsored terrorists, besides reneging on the idea of India and the promise to the people of Kashmir.
— Yogendra Yadav (@_YogendraYadav) August 5, 2019
Jayaprakash Narayan on Kashmir, 1966: ‘If we continue to rule by force and suppress these people and crush them or change the racial or religious character of their state by colonization, or by any other means, then I think that means politically a most obnoxious thing to do’.
— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) August 5, 2019
Presidential Order on J&K is Modi Govt coup against Constitution. Demonetisation was no solution to black money – this coup is no solution for Kashmir. Emergency's midnight knock has reached Kashmir – will soon reach the whole of India. Joint protest at 3 pm, Jantar Mantar today
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) August 5, 2019
— Gulam Jeelani (@jeelanikash) August 5, 2019
The revocation of #Article370 is a major tipping point for an already-fraught dispute. It’s hard to overstate the magnitude of this move.
— Michael Kugelman (@MichaelKugelman) August 5, 2019
legal grey area:how does this not need the process of a constitutional amendment. And during presidents rule, can the consent of the Centre appointed governor be considered the go-ahead of Jammu and Kashmir (required by law). Only the courts can clarify this point #Article370
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) August 5, 2019
‘We do not want to take the initiative in this matter and completely put an end to #Article370. This initiative, we feel, should come from the Kashmir state government and people,’ Jawaharlal Nehru told the parliament in November 1963. #Article370revoked #JammuAndKashmir pic.twitter.com/aHRnvBvcg9
— Soutik Biswas (@soutikBBC) August 5, 2019
Shame on any MP who votes in favour of legislation brought in while locking down the entire state it concerns and its politicians. Bring in a Bill, debate it, let people protest, face the consequences.
— Rukmini S (@Rukmini) August 5, 2019
Copy of the Indian Constitution torn in Rajya Sabha today by PDP MP Mir Mohammad Fayaz. Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu directed him to leave the House after this incident. pic.twitter.com/Mq1p9Nuovu
— ANI (@ANI) August 5, 2019
MDMK leader Vaiko in Rajya Sabha: I am opposing this Bill (Article 370). This is a day of shame, shame, shame…this is murder of democracy. https://t.co/zKgaiZXfL5
— ANI (@ANI) August 5, 2019