Home Minister Amit Shah announced in the Rajya Sabha that the Centre has decided to repeal Article 370 of the Constitution.
In a historic move, Shah promulgated the decision to scrap Article 370, which grants special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The government has also decided to move for bifurcation and designate Jammu and Kashmir as a Union Territory with the legislature. On the other hand, Ladakh will be a Union Territory without legislature. The order, which has been ratified by President Ram Nath Kovind, will be effectuated immediately.
The announcement was met with massive uproar in the Upper House and MPs registered their protest to the contentious move. While the Bahujan Samaj Party, Shiv Sena, and the Aam Aadmi Party extended its support to the BJP, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah warned the Centre against the move.
Condemning the move, Mufti said, “Today marks the darkest day in Indian democracy…. Unilateral decision of GOI to scrap Article 370 is illegal & unconstitutional which will make India an occupational force in J&K.” Notably, Mufti, Abdullah, and Sajjad Lone have been under house arrest since Sunday midnight.
Amid heightened tension in the state, internet services were suspended and night curfew was imposed in several areas. The government imposed these restrictions under Section 144 of the CrPC in Srinagar district as a precautionary measure. The Indian Army and the Indian Air Force have also been put on high alert. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said that on the advice of security agencies, a red alert was imposed on the entire DMRC network.
Earlier today, the Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, convened a meeting, where issues regarding Jammu and Kashmir were discussed.