The center will be in direct control of the police and the law and order in Jammu and Kashmir
Nearly three months after the central government scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s decades-old special status under Article 370, the state has officially been split into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh – from midnight. Following the creation of the two Union Territories, the President’s rule imposed in undivided Jammu and Kashmir has been revoked, according to a government notification.
The Home Ministry in a notification on Wednesday replaced the state of Jammu and Kashmir with the “union territory of Jammu and Kashmir” and announced omission of “permanent residents or hereditary state subjects”. In the late night notification, the ministry’s Jammu and Kashmir division announced a slew of measures, including application of central laws. “… there are references in the state laws that have been applied to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Union Territory of Ladakh to the expressions ‘permanent residents’ or ‘hereditary state subjects’ …, wherever they occur , shall be omitted, “it said.
The two new Union Territories have come into existence on the 144 th birth anniversary ofSardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who is credited for the merger of over 560 princely states into the Union of India. Today, October 31, is also celebrated as National Unity Day.
With the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, the number of states in India has come down to 28 and the number of Union Territories has gone up to nine. While Jammu and Kashmir will continue to have a legislature, like in Puducherry, Ladakh will be without one, like Chandigarh.
Jammu and Kashmir will today also get its first Lieutenant Governor whenGirish Chandra Murmu, the Union Expenditure Secretary, takes oath; former Defense Secretary Radha Krishna Mathur was sworn in as the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh.
The center will be in direct control of the police and the law and order in Jammu and Kashmir, while the land will be under the elected government there. Ladakh will be under the direct control of the central government which will administer it through the Lieutenant Governor.
The Narendra Modi-government had ended the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, fulfiling the BJP’s long- standing promise in the first 100 days of the returning to power for a second term. The government reasoned that both Article 370 and 35 A were “constitutionally vulnerable” and discriminatory and inhibited the development of the state .
Hundreds of local politicians including former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have been under detention since the ending of the special status under Article 370.
The restrictions, especially the clampdown on communication, were necessary to prevent a possible backlash and terror strikes over nixing special privileges granted to Jammu and Kashmir and will be withdrawn in phases, depending on the situation, the government had said.
Days after Article 370 ‘s removal, the government had also said that Jammu and Kashmir would not stay a Union Territory for long its statehood will be restored at “appropriate time” after “normalcy” returns.
(With inputs from PTI)
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