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Last Updated : Aug 05, 2019 08:05 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Article 370 scrapped in J&K | What could be the repercussions?

The additional troop deployment, experts have stated, was in anticipation to any violence that might be expected after the Home Minister's statement in Rajya Sabha.

Atharva Pandit @AtharvaPandit3

With Union Home Minister Amit Shah on August 5 informing Parliament that the Centre proposes to abrogate Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, the repercussions of the move will be widespread and could continue to reverberate for some time to come.

Internally, reports have stated that the government, having anticipated wide-scale turmoil in Kashmir Valley, had imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in parts of J&K, including 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.

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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.

These moves came on the heels of massive security build-up taking place over the past couple of days in J&K, with the central government sending an additional 280 battalions of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) on August 1. A week before that, Centre had rushed about 10,000 CAPFs to Kashmir.

Listen to the Rajneeti podcast | The Kashmir issue: Is revocation of Article 370 the solution?

These troops were an addition to already-stationed 65 battalions of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and 20 other battalions of security forces. The Centre had also curtailed the Amarnath Yatra.

Kashmir Valley has seen massive protests in the past, particularly related to the contentious issue. In February, for instance, when reports had indicated that the Centre will make its intentions regarding Article 35A clear before the Supreme Court, the Valley had gone in a lockdown.

Ahead of the August 6 hearing of Supreme Court on petitions challenging Article 35A last year, separatist leaders and mainstream parties had threatened of massive protests in case the apex court decides to revoke the law.

This time also, Mufti had on July 28 warned that tinkering with the special status of J&K is "like picking up explosives".

"We want to tell central government that tinkering with Article 35A is like picking up explosives. Not only will those hands burn which are raised to touch 35A but also the whole body will become ashes," Mufti had reportedly said.

The additional troop deployment, experts have stated, was in anticipation to any violence that might be expected after the Home Minister's statement in Rajya Sabha.

In addition to the deployment of troops in J&K, the Centre, in an order, has also requested Chief Secretaries and Director Generals of Police (DGPs) of all state/Union Territories and Commissioner of Police, Delhi to take special care to ensure the safety and security of residents of J&K, especially the students in various parts of the country.

Earlier in February, after the Pulwama terror attack, there were reports of residents of J&K being targeted in various parts of the country.

Externally, Pakistan has reacted to the development by stating that the move is an "illegal step".

"As the party to this international dispute, Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps. Pakistan reaffirms its abiding commitment to the Kashmir cause," Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, according to news agency ANI. 

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First Published on Aug 5, 2019 03:37 pm
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