India scraps special status for Occupied Kashmir amid severe human rights abuses
NEW DELHI: Indian President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday signed a bill to remove Article 370, about special status of Kashmir, from the Indian constitution.
Earlier, India’s BJP government moved bill in upper house of the parliament (Rajaya Sabha) to remove Article 370 from the Indian constitution about special status of Kashmir.
Home Minister Amit Shah tabled the bill in the parliament amid opposition members protest.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said in the Rajya Sabha that entire Kashmir is under curfew with Section 144 imposed in several districts. It’s a war-like situation with mobile phones and internet services shutdown and several Kashmiri leaders under house arrest.
The minister moved the bill in the parliament after a crucial Cabinet meeting chaired by Indian Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi on Monday morning.
What is Article 370 of Indian Constitution
According to the Constitution of India, Article 370 provides provisions regarding special autonomy to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
India on Monday abrogated Article 35A which gives special rights to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir territory. As per Article 35A, a person cannot acquire any immovable proper in Kashmir if he or she is not a permanent resident of the region.
Article 370 guarantees special status to Kashmir region, restricting the Indian state’s legislative powers.
India has imposed a curfew for an indefinite period in the occupied Kashmir and suspended internet service. The Indian authorities have banned movement of public and closed all educational institutions.
According to the Kashmir Media Service (KMC), the people have been banned from movement in the valley under section 144.
The internet and mobile phone services have been suspended in the occupied valley, whereas more 28,000 Indian army personnel have been deployed in the area.
Former chief ministers of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti and People’s Conference chairman, Sajjad Lone were placed under house arrest by the Indian authorities.