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Article 370: Revocation of Kashmir’s special status is upheld by the India Supreme Court

Article-370

India’s Supreme Court upheld the revocation of Article 370 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in 2019. Article 370 granted significant autonomy to the region of Jammu and Kashmir, which was subsequently split into two federally administered territories. The court directed the government to conduct elections in the region by September 2024 and ordered the restoration of the region as a state “at the earliest.”

Chief Justice DY Chandrachud stated that Jammu and Kashmir does not possess internal sovereignty distinct from other states. Justice SK Kaul, in his judgment, recommended the establishment of an “impartial truth and reconciliation commission” to investigate human rights violations by both state and non-state actors in the region over the past few decades.

The revocation of Article 370 was a promise made by PM Modi in 2019, and this court decision comes ahead of his pursuit of a third term. However, local politicians in the region have expressed disappointment with the court’s order.

This decision holds significant implications for the region’s political structure and future. If you’re looking for similar recent news or further analysis, I recommend checking reputable news sources or websites for the most up-to-date information.

 

Article-370

Omar Abdullah, a former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, expressed disappointment but also resilience, stating he was “disappointed but not disheartened” in response to the recent decision or developments in the region.

Jammu and Kashmir, once a princely state, became part of India in 1947 after the partition of the subcontinent at the end of British rule. Since then, India and Pakistan, both nuclear-armed neighbors, have had conflicts and wars over control of different parts of the territory. A ceasefire line was agreed upon, dividing the region between the two nations.

Security measures have been heightened in Kashmir recently, with reports of increased security measures and statements from officials emphasizing the priority of maintaining peace in the valley.

This region has seen periods of communication blackouts and increased security following the revocation of nearly all of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution on August 5, 2019. This revocation significantly altered the special privileges that had been granted to the people of Jammu and Kashmir state.

The dissolution of the assembly in Jammu and Kashmir, following the revocation of Article 370, led to the appointment of a lieutenant governor to oversee the region until local elections were conducted. During this period, several activists and senior opposition leaders were detained.

Article 370 granted Jammu and Kashmir its own constitution, a distinct flag, and legislative freedom, while matters such as foreign affairs, defense, and communications remained under federal control.

Consequently, the region could formulate laws related to permanent residency, property ownership, and fundamental rights. It also had the authority to prevent individuals from outside the state from buying land or settling there.

The existence of Article 370 had been a cornerstone of India’s complex relationship with Kashmir, the only Muslim-majority region to join India during partition.

Prime Minister Modi and his BJP had consistently opposed Article 370, considering its revocation as a crucial step towards integrating Kashmir into the rest of India. Following a substantial victory in the April-May 2019 general elections, the government promptly acted on its promise to revoke Article 370.

Critics argue that the BJP’s ultimate intention is to alter the demographic makeup of the Muslim-majority region by permitting non-Kashmiris to acquire land there.

In a recent development, in August (not specified), the Supreme Court’s constitutional bench commenced hearings on nearly 23 petitions challenging the government’s decision to revoke Article 370.

These events in Kashmir hold profound significance due to their political, social, and constitutional implications, triggering discussions about autonomy, integration, and demographic changes in the region. For the most current updates or outcomes regarding these legal challenges, I’d recommend referring to reputable news sources or official statements.

The petitioners highlighted Kashmir’s unique relationship with India, emphasizing that Article 370 acted as a crucial link between the constitutions of India and Jammu and Kashmir.

The state consisted of diverse regions, including the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley, the Hindu-dominated Jammu region, and the high-altitude Buddhist enclave of Ladakh.

Challenges against the reorganization of the state into Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as federally administered territories were raised by the petitioners. They argued that this violated India’s constitution, which mandates the approval of the state legislative assembly to reduce a state to a union territory.

The petitioners also contended that the abrogation of Article 370 stripped the region of its internal sovereignty without considering the will of its people. However, the government asserted that this sovereignty was relinquished to India in 1947.

Following the scrapping of the special status, many restrictions were initially imposed but have gradually eased. The picturesque Kashmir valley witnessed over 16 million tourists in 2022. The government has expressed its readiness to conduct state elections and reinstate statehood.

Nevertheless, frequent communication restrictions in the region, often imposed for security reasons, have faced criticism from rights groups for being perceived as measures to suppress dissent.

The situation in Kashmir remains complex, with ongoing debates over autonomy, governance, and the rights of the region’s residents. For the most recent developments or further details on this matter, consulting reliable news sources would provide the latest insights into the situation.

Pradeep S

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