India's lower house expected to ratify bill to split Kashmir

Image

India's lower house of Parliament was set to ratify a bill that would downgrade the governance of India-administered, Muslim-majority Kashmir.

The Lok Sahba was set to vote on the "Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill" on Tuesday, a day after the measure was introduced alongside a presidential order dissolving a constitutional provision that gave Kashmiris exclusive, hereditary rights. Security in Kashmir was tightened in advance of the measures to prevent protests.

The lower house is expected to easily ratify the bill downgrading Kashmir from a state to a union territory with a legislature and carving out the Ladakh region as its own union territory without a legislature.

Parliament's upper house approved the bill with a two-thirds majority, with many opposition lawmakers voting with the ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

India abolishes Kashmir special status with rush decree

The Indian government on Monday rushed through a presidential decree to scrap a special status for disputed Kashmir, hours after imposing a major security clampdown in the region.

Home Minister Amit Shah told parliament that the president had signed a decree abolishing Article 370 of the constitution giving special autonomy to the Muslim-majority Himalayan region.

The decree said the measure came into force "at once".

Kashmir has been divided between Indian and Pakistan since their independence in 1947. The Indian-administered part of the territory has been in the grip of an insurgency for three decades that has left tens of thousands dead.

Comments

Comments