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India scraps special status for Kashmir state

India scraps the special status of Kashmir. The government wants to divide the northern state into two separate areas. They must then be controlled directly from New Delhi.

The Indian state is called Jammu and Kashmir in full and enjoys far-reaching autonomy under Article 370 of the Constitution. That is now probably coming to an end. Interior Minister Amit Shah announced in parliament that Article 370 will be repealed.

This announcement could cause unrest in the Land. There, the authorities had recently taken a series of security measures, formally because of a terror threat. For example, politicians in Kashmir were placed under house arrest, tourists had to leave and the army sent extra men.

The Hindu nationalist BJP party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has long wanted to get rid of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. That would stand in the way of the integration of the area where many Muslims live in the rest of India. The BJP recorded a large election victory earlier this year.

The former top director of Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, spoke on Twitter about “the darkest day of Indian democracy.” She called the deletion of Article 370 “illegal and unconstitutional” and stated that India would become an occupation force in Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashmir is claimed by both India and Pakistan. These countries both own part of the area. They have fought several wars over the border region since 1947. More protests and unrest are expected in the state after the announcement in parliament.

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