Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Sunday, January 26, 2020 07:42:54 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Article 370: Kashmiris express anger at loss of special status

photo by AP photo

The Indian state has been in lockdown ever since the decision to revoke its special status has been announced.

By BBC Online
08th-Aug-2019       
Share
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Print
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Indian-administered Kashmir has been in a state of lockdown ever since the government decided to strip the region of its special status, with mobile phone networks, landlines and internet access cut off. The BBC has been inside Jammu and Kashmir, to hear the voices of those most affected by the change.
Amid the furious debate over the legality and implications of the Indian government's decision to revoke Article 370 - which gave the state of Jammu and Kashmir significant autonomy from the rest of the country - it seemed one key voice was missing. Those of the Kashmiris themselves.
In the days leading up to Monday's parliamentary announcement, the state was swiftly locked down. Tens of thousands of troops were deployed to the region, and two of the state's former chief ministers - Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah - were placed under house arrest.
With most forms of communication cut off, police officers in the region were given satellite phones. Nearly everyone else was effectively cut off from the rest of the country.
Now, shocked residents of the region are beginning to speak out - although many are still struggling to get a full picture of what is going on.
Rashid Alvi, who runs a medicine shop in Srinagar said that the heavy military presence had turned the region into an "open jail".
He told the BBC's Zubair Ahmed that the people of the state would not be quiet for long.
"People are unable to get out of their houses because of the curfew. Once it's lifted, they will take to the streets."
This sentiment was echoed by a Muslim politician from India's governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who did not wish to be identified.
"Kashmiris are in a state of shock and they are still processing what happened. It seems the valley is going to erupt very soon," he said.
Our correspondent, who has been in Srinagar - the capital of Indian-administered Kashmir - since Monday, says the city resembles a warzone.
"I could see policemen deployed everywhere. Barricades have been put in front of important buildings. Markets, schools and colleges are shut. The city's bus stands are crowded as many tourists are still trying to leave the valley but there aren't enough buses."
Meanwhile, outside Srinagar, the sense of frustration and anger is the same.
Media captionBaramulla resident: 'Our livelihood is affected, nobody is at peace'
The BBC's Aamir Peerzada, who travelled to the town of Baramulla in north Kashmir, found locals bewildered and suspicious about the government's decision.
"There had been no discussion about this move. No-one had expected it. We were shocked when we heard about it. Why would you take such a step in secret? Come out and tell us it's a good move" one resident, Abdul Khali Najar, said.
Another local, identified only as Zaroor, likened the government move to a "marriage that has ended".
"No-one knows what is going to happen," he said.
There have been some sporadic reports of protesters throwing stones at security forces but there has been no official confirmation of any incident to date.
Some public figures have also been able to circumvent the internet blocks to talk about what is happening on social media.
"People are in shock. Numb. Yet to make sense of what befell them. Everyone is mourning what we lost... it's the loss of statehood that has hurt people deeply. This is being seen as the biggest betrayal by the Indian state in the last 70 years," Shah Faesal, an Indian civil servant who has started his own political party, wrote on Facebook.
Kashmir is a Himalayan region that both India and Pakistan say is fully theirs.
The area was once a princely state called Jammu and Kashmir, but it joined India in 1947 when the sub-continent was divided up at the end of British rule.
India and Pakistan subsequently went to war over it and each came to control different parts of the territory with a ceasefire line agreed.
There has been violence in the Indian-administered side for 30 years due to a separatist insurgency against Indian rule.
For many people in Indian-administered Kashmir, Article 370 was the main justification for being a part of India. By revoking it, the BJP-led government has significantly changed Delhi's relationship with the region.
The article allowed the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir a certain amount of autonomy - its own constitution, a separate flag and the freedom to make laws, though foreign affairs, defence and communications remained with the central government.
Under the article, Jammu and Kashmir could make its own rules relating to permanent residency, ownership of property and fundamental rights. It could also bar Indians from outside the state from purchasing property or settling there.
The government said Article 370 needed to be scrapped to put the state on the same footing as the rest of India.
But many Kashmiris believe that the BJP ultimately wants to change the demographic character of the Muslim-majority region by allowing non-Kashmiris to buy land there.


Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Buildings should have built in fire safety measures


IT is possible to avoid any kind of fire-related incidents by spending only two per cent of the total cost of a building, an internationally renowned Bangladeshi fire safety expert has said. Quoting the expert's comments, The New Nation on Saturday in a report said many big fire incidents are ...

Entertainment »

Disha Patani opens up on working in B’wood


Malang released. From the poster to the trailer, every outing that has been released is receiving immense love for Disha’s skills. The hottest outsider to this industry here tells us what she thought when she was a child in front of a camera! Recalling her journey from being a camera ...

Sports »

Stokes sorry despite 'repeated abuse' - and 'Ed Sheeran reference'


AFP, Johannesburg :England star Ben Stokes apologised Friday for his angry exchange with a fan during the fourth and final Test against South Africa but claimed he was the victim of "repeated abuse".Stokes described his reaction at the Wanderers as "unprofessional".English cricket chiefs, however, claimed staff and players were also ...

Sports »

Federer says, 'epics' keep him motivated after Australian Open thriller


AFP, Melbourne :Roger Federer lives to win titles, but five-set thrillers like his epic against John Millman at the Australian Open are also a key reason why he is still playing aged 38.The Swiss master looked out for the count at 4-8 down in a nailbiting fifth-set super tiebreaker against ...

International »

Virus attack worring China


AP, China  :China's most festive holiday began in the shadow of a worrying new virus Saturday as the death toll surpassed 40, an unprecedented lockdown kept 36 million people from travelling and authorities cancelled a host of Lunar New Year events.The National Health Commission reported a jump in the number ...

International »

258 million kids not in school


AP, United Nations :The U.N. deputy chief said on Friday there is an "alarming" crisis in education, pointing to the 258 million children under the age of 17 who are not going to school - and only 49 percent completing secondary education.In addition, about 770 million adults are illiterate, most ...

Editorial »

Don't put extra burden on Hajj pilgrims’ shoulder


THE Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh and the Religious Affairs Ministry in a chorus criticised the Civil Aviation Ministry for taking proposal to increase airfare for each hajj pilgrim by Tk 12,000 from last year, terming it 'illogical" and "immoral". The HAAB leaders on Thursday at a press conference said ...

International »

Imran Khan calls for UN action over Kashmir dispute


Reuters, Davos :Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan called on Wednesday for the United Nations to help mediate between nuclear armed India and Pakistan over the disputed territory of Kashmir."This is a potential flashpoint," Khan said during a media briefing at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, ...

Entertainment »

Shama Sikander sends her love for India’s Republic Day


India will be celebrating its 70th republic day and it’s an extremely auspicious occasion for us. In 26th January 1950, the constitution came into power and became the largest democracy in the world. Shama Sikander has her thoughts and plans set for this day and let’s go through it. Shama ...

Cricket »

We are confident to beat Pakistan: Mahmudullah


Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad said they remain upbeat to beat Pakistan in the first T20 International today (Friday) and gain the momentum for the whole series.Having said that, Mahmudullah insisted right at the moment the security matter, which has been the focal point of the series is not in their ...

Football »

Neymar sets up two goals as PSG cruise into League Cup final


Neymar set up the first two goals with curling set pieces as Paris Saint-Germain won their French League Cup semi-final 3-0 away to Reims on a chilly Wednesday night.PSG will face Lyon, who beat Lille on penalties on Tuesday, in the final at the Stade de France on April 4.This ...

Editorial »

Nobody is there to control them


CHHATRA League activists of Dhaka University's Sergeant Zahurul Haq Hall are at it again as they tortured four students for nearly three hours before handing them to police early Tuesday. The BCL men labelled them as Shibir activists and handed them to Shahbagh police around 3:30am in the presence of ...

City »

Chairman of Bangladesh Public Service Commission Dr. Mohammad Sadik, along with other members of the commission paying tributes by placing wreaths on the plaque 'Mrityunjayee' on the premises of the commission on Thursday on retirement of its two members Abul Kalam Azad and Prof. Dr. Shah Abdul Latif.


Entertainment »

Hina Khan learns to smoke for her role in web series, Damaged 2


We’ve heard of actors across the industry going all out when it comes to prepping up for their characters and roles. From Deepika, on getting a particular accent in Chennai Express to Aamir Khan learning how to tap dance for Dhoom 3, actors do everything possible to get into the ...

Editorial »

Govt faces hard time for needless expenditures coupled with corruption


THE Finance Ministry has asked all ministries and divisions not to seek additional fund in the current fiscal year in a signal that the government is tightening its belt amid a revenue shortfall, as per local media reports. The ministry furnished the instruction with regard to the operating and development ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news