India revokes occupied Kashmir’s special status through rushed presidential decree; parliament debates

With an indefinite security lockdown in place in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) and elected representatives under house arrest, India's ruling party on Monday revoked the special constitutional status of occupied Kashmir through a rushed presidential order.

With the special status repealed, people from the rest of India will now have the right to acquire property in occupied Kashmir and settle there permanently. Kashmiris fear this will lead to a demographic transformation of region from majority Muslim to majority Hindu.

As India's parliament debated the move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to weaken the special rights of residents in Kashmir, 8,000 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) from different parts of the country were moved to IoK. The Indian army and air force have also been placed on high alert.

Home Minister Amit Shah also moved a bill to bifurcate the state into two union territories – Jammu Kashmir as one and Himalayan Ladakh region as the other.

A statement issued by the home minister said that "Jammu and Kashmir will be a union territory with legislature while Ladakh will be a union territory without legislature".

 

[caption id="attachment_29657" align="alignnone" width="1500"] Indian army soldiers guard during restrictions in Jammu, India, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. India's government issued a revocation of the special constitutional status of its portion of Kashmir on Monday amid an uproar in Parliament and a huge troop deployment in the region.
The constitutional provision forbids Indians from outside the region from buying land or permanently settling in the Muslim-majority territory. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)[/caption]
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