The Centre today scrapped Article 370, which grants special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister Amit Shah informed the Parliament today. Shah proposed in the Rajya Sabha to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir, ending the special status to the state.
Shah moved the amendment amid uproar by Opposition members. Shah said: "I am presenting the resolution to revoke Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir except the first clause 370 (1)." Following his speech amid bedlam, the House was adjourned.
All provisions of Indian Constitution as amended time to time will apply to #JammuandKashmir
— PIB India (@PIB_India) August 5, 2019
"Under the umbrella of Article 370 three families looted J&K for yrs. Leader of Opposition (GN Azad) said Article 370 connected J&K to India, it's not true. Maharaja Hari Singh signed J&K Instrument of Accession on 27 Oct 1947, Article 370 came in 1954," said Shah.
Following the scrapping of Article 370, Indian Army & Indian Air Force were put on high alert. Close to 8,000 paramilitary troops airlifted and moved in from Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Assam and other parts of the country to the Kashmir valley.
Shah's announcement came after days of escalating tension in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly the Kashmir Valley, where panicky residents have been buying up essential goods amid a security build up.
Also in the Rajya Sabha, Shah -- whose BJP had made scrapping Article 370 an election pledge -- denied that it was 370 which linked Jammu and Kashmir with India.
"Opposition leaders are saying that Article 370 brought Jammu and Kashmir to India. But the fact is that the Maharaja Hari Singh signed on October 27, 1947 (the Instrument of Accession) while Article 370 came into existence in 1949.
"So this is wrong to say that Article 370 brought Jammu and Kashmir with India," the Minister told the Rajya Sabha in response to Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad who condemned the decision to axe Article 370.
Leader of Opposition Azad said: "By revoking Article 370 that accords special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP government has murdered the Constitution of India."
He underlined that it was the historic Article 370 which linked Jammu and Kashmir to India.
Shah said Article 370 was used as "vote bank politics" and that earlier governments lacked the political will to revoke it.
"But the Modi government has the political will and we are not bothered about vote bank politics."
He asked the opposition members to have a debate on the resolution and said there should not be a delay "even one second" in revoking Article 370.
In Parliament, two members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nazeer Ahmed Laway and Mir Mohammad Fayaz, were told to leave the House after they tore up copies of the Constitution.
But besides the treasury benches, the BJP won the support of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress supported the government move.
PDP MPs Nazir Ahmad Laway & MM Fayaz stage protest in Parliament premises over scrapping of #Article370 in #JammuAndKashmir. The MPs were asked to go out of the House after they attempted to tear the constitution. MM Fayaz also tore his kurta in protest pic.twitter.com/jGb1pMRseR
— OTV (@otvnews) August 5, 2019
On Sunday night, the Jammu and Kashmir government imposed restrictions under Section 144 of the CrPC in Srinagar district and placed the top leadership of the state, including former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, under house arrest.
Internet services were shut down in several parts of the Valley and educational institutions were ordered closed. Earlier, tourists were asked to leave Jammu and Kashmir while the Amarnath Yatra was curtailed.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah called the decision "a betrayal of people's trust" and amounted to "aggression".
PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti dubbed the decision to scrap Article 370 as "the darkest day in Indian democracy".
"Decision of J&K leadership to reject 2 nation theory in 1947 & align with India has backfired. Unilateral decision of GOI to scrap Article 370 is illegal & unconstitutional which will make India an occupational force in J&K," she tweeted.
"It will have catastrophic consequences for the subcontinent."
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday supported the Union government on scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution and to give Jammu and Kashmir a Union Territory status, saying he hopes the steps will bring peace and development to the state.
Ruling NDA ally Shiv Sena on Monday welcomed the Centre's decision to scrap Article 370, terming it as "a historic day" for the country.
In a statement, Yuva Sena President Aditya Thackeray said: "Historic day for India. Article 370 scrapped, and Jammu & Kashmir now truly a part of India."
(With Agency inputs)