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Kashmir news today: What is happening in Kashmir right now?
India has stripped Kashmir of its special status as the government revoked Article 370 in the constitution on Monday. The decision has prompted fears of outrage and unrest in the Muslim-majority state. Tens of thousands of new troops have already been deployed to the area as Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah, one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s closest allies, told parliament president Ramnath Kovind had signed the decree.
The decision to scrap Article 370 was made by India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Article 370 is sensitive because it guarantees Kashmir significant autonomy – a region that both India and Pakistan say is fully theirs.
In 1949, Article 370 was added to India’s constitution to provide autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir.
Article 370 allowed the state to have its own flag, constitution and independence over all matters except foreign affairs, defence and communications.
The law could also bar Indians from outside the state from purchasing property or settling there.
Despite tensions being high in the region for the past 30 years, in the first few days of August, things have escalated.
Residents were put on lockdown early on Monday due to the likelihood of outrage and fury in the region and people have been barred from leaving their homes.
In addition, internet, telephone and cable television services have been cut off.
The Modi government said it would now introduce measures to modify Kashmir’s administrative status from a state to a union territory.
In the Indian system, state governments retain significant authority over local matters, but New Delhi has more of a say in the affairs of a union territory.
Mr Modi alongside his party argued Article 370 needed to be scrapped to integrate Kashmir with the rest of India.
Pakistan has condemned New Delhi’s decision to revoke the special status, saying it would “exercise all possible options” to counter it.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said: ”India is playing a dangerous game which will have serious consequences for regional peace and stability.”
Many fear the move will change the demographic makeup of Kashmir by giving Indian the right to acquire property and settle there permanently.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, from the opposition Congress Party said: “We stand by the constitution of India.
“We will give up our lives for the protection of the constitution of India.
“Today, the BJP (Prime Minister Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party) has murdered the constitution and the democracy of the country.”
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