The Indian government has announced the decision to revoke the special status of Kashmir. Amit Shah, the home minister, made the announcement revoking Article 370 of the Constitution in the upper house of Parliament on Monday morning despite strong opposition from opposition politicians.
Article 370 provides special status to the mainly Muslim population of Jammu and Kashmir. The move to rescind Kashmir's special status was a campaign promise of India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party. For many years, Kashmir has been governed differently than other parts of India, and the government’s decision is widely seen as a blow to Kashmir’s autonomy.
Ahead of the announcement, the Indian government sent at least 8,000 additional paramilitary troops to Jammu and Kashmir. Additional troops are being carried by C-17 transport planes of the Indian Air Force to Srinagar, which is the largest city in the state, the NDTV broadcaster reported. The troops are set to ensure increased security and will add to the over 35,000 soldiers that were sent there over the last week.
The Indian authorities also evacuated tourists, closed schools and cut off internet service. New Delhi has also put its armed forces on high alert to prevent attempts by secessionist groups to foment trouble in Kashmir. Regional party leaders have also been taking into custody. Security has been increased across India, particularly at key installations, including the Metro Rail in the capital New Delhi.
Indian Army and Indian Air Force have been put on high alert, following revoking of Article 370 and other decisions announced by Government of India. pic.twitter.com/STCOnhHgnH— ANI (@ANI) August 5, 2019
Reports indicate that more troops could be airlifted to reinforce security in Kashmir. New Delhi deployed additional troops in the region last week following attempts by militants based in Pakistan-administered Kashmir to cross over to India, intermittent firing by Pakistani forces and reports of possible terrorist strikes against the annual Hindu pilgrimage to the Cave Shrine of Amarnath.