Yesterday, Article 370 of the Indian constitution that gave special status and autonomy to the state of Jammu and Kashmir was abolished in the parliament. According to the Article, the other articles of the Indian Constitution that gave power to the Central Government would be applied to Jammu and Kashmir only with the concurrence of the State’s constituent assembly.
The move by the home minister Amit Shah was brought amidst curfew, communication blockade and arrests of political leaders in Kashmir. While the decision was cheered by many BJP supporters, the move brought sharp criticism from some opposition leaders and civil society activists that it has ignored the voice of the people of Kashmir and will further escalate tension in the region.
Protests started in different parts of the country soon after the bill was passed. The Left parties staged a demonstration at Jantar Mantar here, slamming the Modi government for scrapping Article 370 and demanded that the earlier status of the state be restored.
Protests by civil right groups also took place in Bhopal, Khammam (Andhra Pradesh) and Bangalore
The article was revoked through a presidential order rendering Article 370 and article 35A ineffective. Amit Shah also introduced Jammu and Kashmir reorganization bill bifurcating the state into Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, both given the status of the union territory. The move demoted the status of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to Union territory undermining the autonomy of the people of Jammu and Kashmir while bringing it directly under the control of the central government.