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Last Updated : Aug 05, 2019 02:30 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Article 370 on Jammu and Kashmir's special status revoked, announces Amit Shah

The Centre also announced bifurcation of J&K into two Union Territories

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The Centre on August 5 abolished Article 370 that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and moved a separate bill to bifurcate the state into two separate Union Territories (UTs) of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Home Minister Amit Shah moved the resolution on Article 370 as also the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 amid massive uproar by opposition parties. He informed the House that President Ram Nath Kovind has signed the official notification abrogating Article 370.

Quick read | Article 370 revoked, bifurcation into UTs: 10 things you need to know about J&K crisis right now

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As soon as Shah made the announcement, members of the Indian National Congress, Trinamool Congress and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) squat on the floor of the House, one of the PDP members tore his clothes and then along with another PDP member tore copies of the Constitution, prompting Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to order that they be physically removed.

Shah, who received a standing ovation from his party colleagues when he entered the House minutes before proceedings in the Rajya Sabha commenced, termed the move as "historical", saying Article 370 has not allowed integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the country.

Shah said Article 370 will no longer be applicable to Jammu and Kashmir.

When the House met, Naidu said he had used his discretionary powers to waive the requirement of the government to give advance notice and circulate a bill as the issue was of urgent national importance.

Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the entire Kashmir Valley is under curfew and three former chief ministers of the state and political leaders have been placed under house arrest.

He wanted the situation to be discussed first but Naidu allowed Shah to move the resolution.

Shah moved the resolution to abolish Article 370 as well as the state reorganisation bill along with listed bills to extend reservation for economically weaker sections in educational institutions and government jobs in Jammu and Kashmir.

The reorganisation bill provides for formation of union territory of Ladakh without legislature and a separate one for Jammu and Kashmir with legislature.

While Naidu said only the bill for providing reservation is being moved now and the other would be done after it is circulated to members, the House in a voice vote approved the introduction.

Later Naidu allowed Shah to re-introduce the resolution and the reorganisation bill, saying copies have now been circulated to members.

But it was not put to vote and it was not immediately clear if the voice vote taken earlier was for all bills and resolution or only for the bill for reservation.

Shah had moved the resolution and the bills together.

For the latest updates on the developing situation in J&K, follow the LIVE blog

But the introduction was opposed by Congress, TMC and DMK members who along with leaders in the House rushed into the well. They first shouted slogans and then squatted in the well of the House. Those who squat on the floor included Azad, Congress deputy leader Anand Sharma and TMC leader Derek O'Brien.

Amid the ruckus, PDP members Nazir Ahmad Laway and Mir Mohammad Fayaz shouted slogans and tore posters. Laway even tore the 'kurta' he was wearing. Later as the protests heated up, the duo tore copies of the Constitution, prompting Naidu to order their eviction.

"The Indian Constitution is supreme. Nobody can do it," Naidu said as he named two members and ordered marshals to physically remove them from the House.

Also read | J&K to be Union Territory with Legislature, Ladakh without: Here's the difference

Article 370 of the Constitution granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir whereby provisions of the Constitution which are applicable to other states are not applicable to J&K.

As per this article, except for defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications, Parliament needs the state government's concurrence for applying all other laws.

In the early hours of August 5, Section 144 of the CrPC was imposed in parts of J&K including the Srinagar District as a precautionary measure.

This meant a complete ban on holding any kind of public meeting or rallies. Mobile internet and landline services have been suspended in the Kashmir Valley. Satellite phones have been provided to officials.

Key political leaders including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, among others, have not been allowed to move out of their respective houses in view of the restrictions. This effectively meant that they had been placed under house arrest.

Also read: What is Article 35A? Here's all you need to know

Additional paramilitary forces, which arrived in Kashmir in the past few days, have been deployed across the city and in other vulnerable areas of the valley.

Political parties in J&K had expressed apprehensions after the Centre deployed additional troops and curtailed the Amarnath Yatra.

Governor Satya Pal Malik had earlier dismissed speculations that the Centre might be planning to do away with Article 35A of the Constitution, which gives exclusive rights to the state's residents in government jobs and land.

(With inputs from PTI)

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First Published on Aug 5, 2019 11:29 am
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