Peoples Democratic Party leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday condemned the Centre’s decision to table a resolution in Parliament to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution, which provides special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also introduced an order from President Ram Nath Kovind that removed provisions under Article 35A of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution, which provides special treatment to the state, and proposed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill that seeks to turn Jammu and Kashmir to a Union Territory with a legislature while Ladakh is proposed to be a Union Territory without a legislature.
“Today marks the darkest day in Indian democracy,” Mufti said in a series of tweets. “Decision of J&K leadership to reject two-nation theory in 1947 and align with India has backfired. Unilateral decision of government of India to scrap Article 370 is illegal and unconstitutional, which will make India an occupational force in Jammu and Kashmir.”
Mufti said the decision would have catastrophic consequences for the Indian subcontinent, and added that the Centre’s intentions were clear. “They want the territory of J&K by terrorising its people,” she added. “India has failed Kashmir in keeping its promises.”
The Peoples Democratic Party chief said the glee with which some sections of the media and civil society were celebrating Shah’s announcements were “disgusting and disconcerting”.
“What did J&K get for acceding to India?” Mufti asked. “Another partition along communal lines? Our special status is not a gift bestowed upon us. It is a right guaranteed by the same Parliament. A contract entered into by J&K leadership and India. Today the very same contract has been violated.”
In a statement, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said the government’s unilateral decision was shocking and “a total betrayal of the trust that the people of Jammu and Kashmir had reposed in India when the state acceeded to it in 1947”.
“A tough and long battle lies ahead,” said the former chief minister. “We are ready for that.”