Article 370: What is happening with Kashmiris?
Published: 03:59 PM, 6 August 2019
Indian-administered Kashmir remains in a state of lockdown, a day after stripping off the special status that gave it significant autonomy — reports BBC.
Landlines, mobiles and internet networks of Kashmir are been disconnected from Sunday evening. About ten thousand of troops patrol took place on the streets.
The cancellation of special status was expected to trigger widespread protests. But there is no word on how people have reacted to the news.
The arrest of two former chief ministers on Sunday night was accompanied with all communications being blocked. Since then, the region has been in a virtual blackout with no information coming out.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti — under house arrest in the state capital Srinagar — said those who had participated in India's democracy had been "pushed to the wall”. “We the people who had faith in the constitution of India have been proved wrong,” she added.
She also said the decision betrayed Kashmir's decision to align with India in 1947.
Article 370 allowed the state to have its own constitution, a separate flag, and independence over all matters except foreign affairs, defense, and communications. As a result, Jammu and Kashmir could make its own rules relating to citizenship, ownership of property and fundamental rights. It could also bar Indians from outside the state from purchasing property or settling there.
A Delhi correspondent who is reluctant to disclose his name said, “No-one knows what is happening in other parts of the state — we can’t talk to anyone else. People are concerned — they don’t know what is happening, they don’t know what is going to happen."
Kashmiris in other parts of the country have said that they are unable to get through to their families and have spoken of their worry and fear. One Delhi-based student told the Indian Express newspaper that he had even tried calling the local police station but none to avail.
Tourists were asked to leave, and Hindu pilgrims making an annual religious trek were also asked to return to their homes. Schools and colleges were shut down. No indication was given about what was being planned.
Tension raised after Home Minister Amit Shah's parliamentary announcement when ten thousands of additional troops were deployed to which is already one of the world’s most militarized zones.
Assuming the worst, concerned locals stockpiled food for months, BBC correspondents of the region said.
In anticipation of the communication blackout that was to come, police personnel were issued satellite phones.
There has been no indication of when communications will be restored although local news reports said that people were being allowed to enter the region.
On the other hand Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan talked with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad to discuss the unfolding situation in Kashmir.
Turkish President Erdogan shared his concerns on the developing situation in the occupied valley and assured of Turkey’s steadfast support in this regard.
“Malaysia is closely monitoring the situation and would remain in touch,” said Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir.
After cancellation of Article 370, Kashmir will no longer have a separate constitution but will have to abide by the Indian constitution much like any other state. All Indian laws will be automatically applied to Kashmiris, and people from outside the state will be able to buy property there. The government claimed, “this will bring development to the region”.
The region Kashmir is claimed entirely by both India and Pakistan. But they each control each part of it. There is a long-running insurgency on the Indian side, which has led to a large number of civilian casualties.
Indian Government has abolished Article 370 at cabinet on Monday, which guaranteed significant autonomy to the Muslim-majority state.
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