Jammu & Kashmir Article 370 Scrapped: The Union government has announced its plan to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution that grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, with an order saying “it shall come into force at once”. Jammu and Kashmir will now be governed by the laws applicable to other Indian citizens. Union Home Minister Amit Shah earlier today moved the Rajya Sabha, announcing the government has decided to repeal Article 370. The government has also decided to bifurcate the state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and Ladakh, which will be without a legislature.

Jammu & Kashmir Article 370 Scrapped: Highlights 

  • The government has decided to repeal Article 370 of the Constitution which grants special status to J&K.
  • Article 370 laid down that except for matters related to defence, foreign affairs, communications and issues specified in the Instrument of Accession of Jammu and Kashmir, Parliament needs the state government’s ratification for all other laws. So far, residents of the state lived under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property and fundamental rights.
  • Jammu and Kashmir will now be governed by the laws applicable to other Indian citizens.
  • The government has also decided to bifurcate the state into two Union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and Ladakh, which will be without a legislature.

Know about Article 370

  • As per the Constitution of India, Article 370 is a “temporary provision” that grants special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir, including allowing it its own constitution.
  • Under Article 370, the central government’s ability to draft and enact laws affecting Jammu and Kashmir and its residents is limited.
  • The center needs approval from the state government for all legislation, with the exception of those relating to defence, foreign affairs, finance, and communications. 
  • Article 370 also consists of provisions that offer Jammu and Kashmir residents special rights and privileges, including preventing people from other parts of the country from buying land in the state.
  • Under Article 370, the centre can only declare an emergency in the state in case of war or external aggression; this rules out doing so for internal disturbances unless made specifically at the request of the state government.

Impact on the affairs of the state 

  • The announcement was immediately followed by a massive uproar in the Upper House with opposition MPs protesting in the Well of the House.
  • Back in the Valley, three of Jammu and Kashmir’s most prominent politicians – Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah, and Sajjad Lone are under house arrest amid a massive security-built up in the state.
  • Internet services and mobile services have been suspended in several places and all public gatherings are banned in Srinagar district as section 144 was imposed from midnight.
  • As per the order, there will be no movement of public and all educational institutions shall also remain closed. There will be a complete bar on holding any kind of public meetings or rallies during the period of operation of this order.
  • The strength of the security personnel has been increased around vital installations such as the civil secretariat, police headquarters, airport and various central government establishments in the city.
  • Barricades have been erected on many arterial roads, including the entry and exit points to Srinagar, the summer capital of the state.
  • Riot control vehicles have also been kept on standby in some areas where the apprehension of law and order disturbances is more, the officials added. 

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