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India’s bifurcation move

Narendar Modi led fascist regime has formally installed its governors for the newly formed union territories carved out from the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Girish Chandra Murmu an Indian Administrative Service Officer and Radha Krishna Mathur have been sworn in as the new Lieutenant Governors for the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh respectively. The Indian Home Ministry through a notification issued at midnight Wednesday replaced occupied Kashmir with the “Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir” and “Union Territory of Ladakh” and announced omission of permanent residents or hereditary state subjects.

The contentious move with far-reaching political consequences is in fact a follow up of the recent developments that besides triggering a huge debate in political and diplomatic circles have brought the lingering Kashmir dispute back into international limelight. India that claims to be the largest democracy has formally embarked on an ambitious colonial agenda to fortify its unlawful occupation in the disputed territory.

On August 05, 2019, the BJP, a right-wing party, with close ideological and organizational links to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh had announced to repeal the special status of occupied Kashmir and divide it into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The day will go down as the darkest day in Kashmir history as these illegal and colonial steps were taken without the consent of the people and without fulfilling the requirements under the UN Security Council resolutions. Kashmiris living on both sides of the line of control have unequivocally rejected the move saying that the illegal steps taken by the India will be resisted tooth and nail. The people living in the Indian held territory of Jammu and Kashmir have strongly reacted to the BJP government’s attempted move as they believe that the scraping of special status of Kashmir and abolishing of decades’ old law (35-A) will open up the floodgates of massive demographic changes in the disputed territory.

Ever since India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmir valley in particular has been seething in anger. The people in the besieged valley are in a state of extreme shock and turmoil, they are not allowed to venture out of their houses. However, the political leadership, cutting across the political divide, have unanimously rejected this move and termed it as an atrocious attack on the identity as well as the rights of millions of Kashmiris. The illegal move has evoked strong opposition from the mainstream regional parties including Peoples Democratic Party and National Conference and other regional parties whereas the pro-freedom parties, who have been advocating for a peaceful settlement of Kashmir conflict, have voiced their serious reservations on the issue saying that the move was tantamount to changing the disputed nature of Kashmir. Regardless of the reservations expressed by the political leaders, Kashmir, an internationally recognized dispute awaiting final settlement, has been a center of conflict between the two nuclear neighbours since 1947. Any attempt on the part of the government of India to alter the disputed status of Kashmir issue would have serious political ramifications. Particularly the New Delhi’s demographic designs in the disputed region merits urgent attention of the international community and other stakeholders as any such attempt would not only affect referendum outcome but would adversely impair the much awaited referendum process to be held in the disputed territory under the auspicious of United Nations.

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