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News > India

India Revokes Kashmir's Semiautonomy

  • A view of Kashmir region, 2023.

    A view of Kashmir region, 2023. | Photo: X/ @TimesAlgebraIND

Published 11 December 2023

"Disappointed but not disheartened. The struggle will continue," said former Kashmiri Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

On Monday, the Supreme Court of India upheld the revocation of Kashmir's semiautonomy, which was made by the Parliament on August 5, 2019.


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"The Supreme Court's verdict today on the revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution is historic... It is a statement of hope, progress, and unity," said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the social platform X.

According to this article, Kashmir had the freedom to enact laws and had its own Constitution. Nevertheles, the government divided the only state with a Muslim majority in India into two territories directly governed by New Delhi.

The government of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has argued that the elimination of this status was necessary to boost the development of Kashmir, a region that has been disputed by India and Pakistan since their independence from the British Empire.

Interior Minister Amit Shah reiterated this position, celebrating the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court, which also ordered elections in the region before October 2024. "The rights of the poor and the vulnerable have been restored, and separatism and stone-pelting are things of the past," said Shah on X.

The court's decision was disappointing for Kashmiri politicians who argued that the process violated the Indian Constitution and did not consider the wishes of the valley's inhabitants.

"Disappointed but not disheartened. The struggle will continue. It took the BJP decades to get here. We are also prepared for the long term," said the former Kashmiri Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who was placed under house arrest.

The former Chief Minister of Indian Kashmir and opposition leader Mehbooba Mufti also took to social media to assert that the inhabitants of the disputed region "will not lose hope or give up; our fight for honor and dignity will continue despite everything."

Both former leaders are among the thousands of politicians, activists, and ordinary citizens who were detained in August 2019 to prevent protests against India and who were gradually released in the following months.

In recent years, violence has been frequent in Kashmir, where a separatist armed rebellion calls for the independence of Kashmir or its accession to Pakistan.

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