Article 370 abolition will integrate J-K with India: Officials

The abolition of Article 370, that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, will "completely integrate" the state with the Indian Union like other princely states in 1950 and its residents will enjoy equal rights like other citizens, officials said on Monday.

With the abrogation of Article 370, the Article 35A will automatically become void, thereby annulling the special status enjoyed by the residents over land, business and employment, they said.

The latest decision of the government spelled out in Parliament will "finally and completely integrate the erstwhile J-K state into the Union of India, just as all other princely states and territories had in 1950".

"These decisions will maintain all the fundamental rights due to any citizen of erstwhile J-K, as is the case with any other citizen of India," a source said.

The decision will also allow any individual, business or NGO, that operates as per the law of the land, to freely operate, under the same rules of business, in the new union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The large population of young Kashmiris, the sources said, studying and working in other states of India will get the "power and confidence" to be equal citizens of India, without they being categorised as a special citizen.

The ease with which private and public investment will flow into both these new UTs will lead to much faster development of the economy, the development of high-quality educational institutions and the flow of a large corpus of funds to develop tourism in these underdeveloped regions, they said.

As per the sources, the Article 35A-- that defines the permanent residents of the state-- will be cancelled as a result of the repealing of the Article 370 and will lead to the creation of a Union Territory of J-K with a legislature, while Ladakh will not have an assembly.