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Article 370: Mufti says India failed Kashmir, Omar calls it total betrayal

Govt moves resolutions to abrogate Article 370, bifurcate J&K into 2 UTs

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

A CRPF jawan stands guard as situation in Kashmir continues to be tense and uncertain, in Srinagar, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. There are apperhenensions of prolonged law and order problem in the Valley | Photo: PTI
A CRPF jawan stands guard as situation in Kashmir continues to be tense and uncertain, in Srinagar, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. There are apperhenensions of prolonged law and order problem in the Valley | Photo: PTI

Union Home Minister on Monday moved a resolution revoking that grants special status to the state of in the Rajya Sabha, amid a din as Opposition members protested the move.

The government on Monday also moved a Bill proposing the bifurcation of the state of into two Union Territories -- the division and Ladakh.

Home Minister Shah introduced the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill. Making the announcement in the Rajya Sabha, Shah said that the UT in Ladakh would have no legislature, like Chandigarh, while the other UT of Jammu and Kashmir would have a legislature, like Delhi and Puducherry.

ALSO READ: Kashmir LIVE updates: Prepared for long battle for Article 370, says Omar

There was an uproar in the Rajya Sabha after the resolution was moved by the Home Minister. Reactions poured in immediately, with former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti calling it "the darkest day in Indian democracy". Mufti tweeted that the "unilateral decision" of the Government of India to scrap was "illegal and unconstitutional", which would "make India an occupational force in J&K".

Warning of catastrophic consequences for the subcontinent, Mufti said that India had "failed Kashmir in keeping its promises".

Reacting to the developments, Omar Abdullah, vice-president of Conference and former chief minister of J&K, issued a statement saying that the government's "unilateral and shocking decisions" on Monday were "a total betrayal of the trust that the people of Jammu and Kashmir had reposed in India when the state acceded to it in 1947".

"The decisions will have far-reaching and dangerous consequences.

This is an aggression against people of the state as had been warned by an all-parties meeting in Srinagar yesterday," he said.

Abdullah accused the Government of India of resorting to "deceit and stealth" in recent weeks to lay the ground for these "disastrous decisions".

ALSO READ: Govt scraps Article 370, proposes to split J&K into two Union Territories

"Our darkest apprehensions have unfortunately come true after the GOI and its representatives in J&K lied to us that nothing major was planned. The announcement was done after the entire state, particularly the Kashmir Valley, was turned into a garrison. Those of us who gave democratic voice to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, are incarcerated as lakhs of armed security personnel have been put on the ground," he said.

"The scrapping of Articles 370 and 35a raise fundamental questions on the state's accession because that was done on the very terms enunciated in these Articles. The decisions are unilateral, illegal and unconstitutional and will be challenged as such by the Conference," added the statement.

"A long and tough battle lies ahead. We are ready for that," said Abdullah, while concluding his statement.

BJP leader Arun Jaitley said that the government's move on Article 370 was a monumental decision towards national integration. Asserting that separate status led to separatism, he said in a blog that no dynamic nation could allow this situation to continue.

Complimenting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Shah, Jaitley said, "A historical wrong has been undone today. came through the back door without following the procedure under Article 368 of the Constitution of India. It had to go."

"The decision of the government will help the people of Jammu and Kashmir the most. More investment, more industry, more private educational institutions, more jobs and more revenue will come," Jaitley added.

Earlier, the Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Modi, had an hour-long meeting, where the top leadership is believed to have discussed issues concerning Jammu and Kashmir.

First Published: Mon, August 05 2019. 11:29 IST