Home Minister Amit Shah announced in Rajya Sabha that the government has decided do away with the controversial Article 370 of the Constitution. This article grants special status to J&K. The government has also announced its intentions to bifurcate the state into two Union territories – Jammu and Kashmir and the second Ladakh. While Jammu and Kashmir would have a legislature Ladakh would not have a legislator.
The Home Minister’s announcement was followed by an uproar in the as People’s Democratic Party(PDP) and National Conference(NC) MPs protested in the Well of the House. Meanwhile in the Kashmir valley Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, and Sajjad Lone three of the most prominent politicians have been kept under house arrest so as to maintain law and order in the valley.
Also as a precautionary measure mobile services, cable TV services and internet services have been temporarily suspended in select places. Public gatherings are banned in Srinagar district as section 144 was imposed since midnight. Various political seem to be divided on the plans for doing away with Article 370. Telugu Desam Party, Aam Aadmi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Shiv Sena, YSR Congress Party, Bodoland People’s Front, AIADMK, Biju Janata Dal supported the move while DMK, MDMK have opposed the move. Leader of opposition and Indian National Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also opposed the proposal.
As expected Pakistan has again tried to meddle in the internal affairs of India by criticizing the proposed move of the Union government as
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan labelled the move “irresponsible, unilateral and irrational behavior” and warning (threatening) that this could destabilize the region.