Union minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the one-year anniversary of the revocation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Ushering in justice, peace and prosperity for common man,” Goyal tweeted. “PM Narendra Modi ji undid decades of darkness to bring development and opportunities to Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Abrogating Article 370, Home Minister Amit Shah ji unified nation and empowered people of these UTs to shape their future.”
A year ago, the Narendra Modi government abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution, and divided the state into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Article 370 of the Constitution granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and limited Parliament’s power to make laws concerning it. The Centre also put many Kashmiri politicians under detention, many of whom have still not been released. The region has been attempting to go back to normalcy since then, even as high speed internet services remain inactive in the Valley.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Kashmir unit celebrated the day by unfurling the national flag and distributing sweets, PTI reported. The saffron party accused those protesting the constitutional changes of being sympathisers of the Islamic State terrorist group.
“We are celebrating the completion of one year of abrogation of Article 370 and the positive changes that it brought in Jammu and Kashmir,” BJP leader Altaf Thakur told reporters at the party office in Srinagar. “There used to be stone pelting during encounters that has stopped. There used to be ISIS flag, Pakistani flag that has stopped. That is what we are celebrating.”
Asked about those observing August 5 as “Black Day”, Thakur said they should think what they are supporting. “Those who are in love with black are sympathisers of ISIS,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday night lifted the two-day curfew which was imposed on Monday. The Srinagar district magistrate in an order had said they have received inputs about separatists and Pakistan-sponsored groups planning to observe August 5 as “Black Day”. However, after criticism, the curfew was removed.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said the order to lift the curfew was a “mere hogwash”. A tweet from her account, which is managed by her daughter Iltija Mufti since her detention last year, also shared a post by a journalist that alleged that even ambulances were not allowed to pass the barbed wires in Srinagar.
The administration in the new order emphasised that movement restrictions imposed across the region were due to the coronavirus crisis. Police and the Central Reserve Police Force personnel have been deployed in heavy numbers across the Valley.
Almost all of the Kashmir Valley’s political leadership, including three former chief ministers – Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti – were put in detention. Omar Abdullah was released seven months later on March 24 as the Jammu and Kashmir administration revoked his detention order under the Public Safety Act. Farooq Abdullah was released on March 13 but Mufti still remains in detention.