19:38 GMT01 March 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Indian government on Monday sent at least 8,000 additional paramilitary troops to Jammu and Kashmir after the president revoked a constitutional article granting a special status to the contested state, NDTV broadcaster reported, citing sources.

    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.

    Earlier in the day, Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which grants Jammu and Kashmir state a special status, was revoked by a presidential decree. The move envisages that Jammu and Kashmir will become two union territories with a legislative authority directly controlled by the federal government. The bill on removing the constitutional article has yet to be approved by the parliament.

    On Saturday, Pakistan accused India of using cluster munitions to kill civilians along the Line of Control. According to Islamabad, at least two civilians were killed and 11 more seriously injured in the attack. The accusations were voiced one day after New Delhi announced it would be significantly boosting its forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

    The Kashmir region has been the source of clashes between India and Pakistan since the end of British rule in 1947. Following several armed conflicts, the two countries agreed to a ceasefire in 2003. Since then, however, both parties have repeatedly accused each other of violating the truce, with continued instability in the region leading to the emergence of various extremist groups.


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