CHENNAI TUESDAY AUGUST 06, 2019 `5.00 PAGES 22 LATE CITY EDITION Jammu & Kashmir HAS ARTICLE 370 BEEN SCRAPPED? Ladakh No. It can be abrogated only through a constitutional amendment and with the approval of the J&K Constituent Assembly that ceased to exist in 1956 B U T S P E C I A L S TAT U S T O J & K R E M O V E D On Monday, the government did not propose to scrap Article 370 as a whole but removed all provisions that give special status to J&K The only clause of Article 370 that was not on the chopping block was Clause (1) on the basis of which the Centre issued the Presidential order, which paved the way for tabling of the resolution to abrogate all but Clause (1) of Article 370 WHY ADD PROVISIONS TO ARTICLE 367? Article 367 gives guidelines on how the Constitution should be interpreted. With Monday’s presidential order, the Centre declared the Governor of J&K to be equivalent of the state's Sadar-e-Riyasat (PM) and the J&K's Constituent Assembly equivalent to Legislative Assembly. This helped the Centre scrap the provisions in Article 370 Article 35(A) came into force in 1954 through a presidential order. With the current order, it has been superseded IT’S PATEL 2.0 CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI BOLD ATTEMPT TO CHANGE THE KASHMIR STORY B y any yardstick, Monday’s move by the Narendra Modi government annulling special status to Jammu and Kashmir was one of the biggest and boldest in post-Independence India and equally crucial from a geo-political perspective. On the face of it, it needs to be welcomed on more than one ground though the implications will be known only as time rolls on and the fallout would largely depend on what the Indian government does to genuinely integrate Kashmiris with the rest of the Union, an objective that it says could not be achieved owing to the special privileges accorded under Article 370. Legally the majority view among experts seems to be , that the government stands on a firm footing. Article 370, which permitted J&K to have its own Constitution, essentially flows from the Instrument of Accession, and those privy to the happenings then had said it was meant to mollify Sheikh Abdullah when he tried to declare independence. In the written text, however, it was deemed to be temporary and transitional in nature. A series of Presidential orders flowed ever since, the most important being Article 35(A) in May 1954. As ratified by the then Constituent Assembly, customs duties were removed and the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court extended to Kashmir even as the state retained the power to restrict employment and purchase of immovable property to only permanent residents. The genesis of the current debate, however, has its roots in 1956 when the Constituent Assembly of J&K dissolved itself without taking a decision on 370. It gave scope to interpret it as deemed permanent though classified temporary in nature. As stated in the editorial of this newspaper on May 17, 1954, two days after Article 35(A) came into force, amendments to certain Articles of the Constitution follow from the definitive accession of Kashmir to India, and that it is complete and irrevocable. Once this argument is settled, the question that remains is whether the special provisions did any good to the state or not. The ruling government’s view, as enunciated in the party’s manifesto time and again, has been that it did more harm than good and also precluded efforts to make the state part of the Indian Union in its letter and spirit. The opposite argument has been that the Centre has, over the years, done little to make people of Kashmir believe that the country cares for them. From a political standpoint, there could not have been a more opportune time on the domestic front for the Modi government to go ahead with a legacy-shaking law given that the Opposition is ineffectual and in complete disarray even as a large section of the Indian population is in a mood to welcome the change. On the international front, though, there could be challenges and it is possible that it could be dragged to the Security Council. The manner in which the Centre went about executing its plan — placing former chief ministers under house arrest and virtually cutting off Kashmir from the rest of the world has also come under flak though New Delhi justified it on the grounds that it could not have dealt with the issue in any other manner given the security implications. Separating Ladakh, the source of infiltration, from Jammu and Kashmir and making it a Union Territory also seems to be part of the overall plan to ensure that Delhi has a firm handle on the security front. Having triumphed politically, the challenges are twofold now: first and foremost is dealing with a possible violent disobedience, aided and abetted from outside. Second is to win the hearts and minds of people of Kashmir in every possible manner by protecting their Kashmiriyat identity and also jobs and market. We hope the Indian government will work earnestly and quickly in that direction because that alone can offer a lasting solution. INSIDE HISTORIC DAY FOR KASHMIR & INDIA I P10 NOTHING LEGAL ABOUT IT It has been over two decades since manual scavenging was banned in the country. But on Monday in the heart of the Chennai city as hundreds of motorists were passing by, eight contract workers engaged by the Tamil Nadu’s Highways department lowered themselves chest-deep into rainwater mixed with sewage to desilt the storm water drains 4 of these workers were not wearing gloves while getting down the drain | P2 PHOTO: R SATISH BABU ILLEGAL, SAYS PAK, SUMMONS ENVOY I P11 By lifting the special status accorded to J&K, Modi completes Sardar Patel’s unfinished agenda of national integration, scripts history; state bifurcated MANISH ANAND & RICHA S H A R M A @ New Delhi TURNING the Jammu & Kashmir narrative on its head, the Narendra Modi government on Monday took away the special status accorded to the state, which, it said, was the root cause of all ills including terrorism. Rescinding the provisions of Article 370 will also mark the end of J&K’s seven decades of detachment from the rest of the country . With the Lok Sabha also set to pass the resolution on Tuesday night, all Central laws will come in force in Jammu and Kashmir as well. After days of speculation triggered by the unprecedented security mobilisation in the state, the Union Cabinet met on Monday morning at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg — the residence of the Prime Minister — to approve a parliamentary resolution to adopt a Presidential order on Article 370. It was also decided to move a state reorganisation bill to carve two Union territories out of J&K — Jammu and Kashmir with an Assembly and Ladakh without a legislature. The Cabinet meeting was preceded by two key meetings. First, Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad briefed Home Minister Amit Shah on the legal aspects of the decisions. Thereafter, Shah went into a huddle with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for about an hour to give final shape to the plan. With the script in place, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, S Jaishankar and Nirmala Sitharaman were called for a brief meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security . Parliamentary action then began in the Rajya Sabha with Shah spelling out the finer points of the big legislative move, which invited instant emotional outbursts from leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad. After realisation dawned on what it was all about, non-NDA parties decided to take part in a short duration discussion, with the likes of the BSP TDP , , YSR Congress, BJD, and AAP supporting the move. BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta, sources said, was instructed to seek clarifications from Shah on the Constitutional validity and longevity of the Union Territory status for J&K. Shah, in his reply, clarified: “There’s absolutely no ques- WHAT IT MEANS Special status goes; J&K will no longer have its own constitution Centre does not need state legislature’s approval for introducing policies or constitutional powers to the state J&K will no longer have its own flag Permanent residency of Kashmiris abolished. In other words, non-Kashmiris can now own property in Jammu and Kashmir Non-Kashmiris can get government jobs in J&K Ranbir Penal Code will be scrapped; Indian Penal Code will apply 106 Central laws will be applicable in J&K The Centre, through the Governor, will have final say on all matters tion on the Constitutional validity of the resolution abrogating Article 370. The government will consider restoring the statehood to J&K, but that would be incumbent upon total Sleuths expect temporary spike in Valley violence M AYA N K S I N G H & S A N A S H A K I L @ New Delhi SECURITY forces and intelligence agencies fear a spike in violence following abrogation of provisions of Article 370 that accord special status to J&K. “There will not be an immediate reaction to the situation, but violence and terrorist activities will rise in the coming days. Eventually the attempts will decline,” said a senior Army officer. Intelligence reports suggest terror groups may use suicide bombing and IEDs to cause maximum damage. “Militants will make desperate attempts for some time and will attempt to lure the youth with their propaganda. But security forces are prepared to tackle the situation,” said a senior security official. Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba is likely to visit J&K to take stock of the security situation. Ajai Sahni of the Institute of Conflict Management, an expert on counter-terror, said there would not be any explo- sion of militancy. “There is every chance there will be a reaction but it cannot be sustained. The militant groups do not have the required power to launch sustained attacks. There will be incidents though, but India has been effectively tackling militant groups so far, and they will do the same in the future,” he added. The forces are also prepared for an increase in Pakistani regular troops on the LoC. “Pakistan is expected to shift its troops from their Afghanistan border towards the Indian side,” said an Army officer. The Indian Army has not brought in any extra troops, but it will be on standby to support about 45,000 extra paramilitary forces brought to Kashmir. “We will conduct only anti-terror operations,” Army sources said. The government, having anticipated turmoil in the Valley , had imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in parts of J&K, including Srinagar as a precautionary measure. Mobile, internet and landline services were suspended from Sunday night. purge of militancy .” Former home minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram made a forceful intervention during the discussion, calling the government actions a “monumental blunder”. “Don’t commit the cardinal sin of dismembering the state. You have made a legal error and you will discover that in due time,” Chidambaram said. Shah singled out Chidambaram in his combative defence of the big moves, while squarely blaming Article 370 for all the problems of J&K — militancy, corruption, unemployment and political monopoly . “Right to education is not applicable in J&K. Hospital infrastructure couldn’t come up due to Article 370. Despite much higher per capita fund flow in the state, there is no development in the state,” the home minister pointed out. Explaining why it makes sense to do away with Article 370, Shah said, “Because of Article 370, democracy has never percolated in Jammu and Kashmir, corruption grew to its peak and poverty increased in the area. There are people of different religions in the Valley and we are not politicising on the basis of religion. The peo- How Amit Shah pulled it off with surgical precision Home Minister @AmitShah Ji’s speech in Rajya Sabha was insightful. It highlighted the monumental injustices of the past and coherently presented our vision for the sisters and brothers of J&K Today marks the darkest day in Indian democracy. Decision of J&K leadership to reject 2-nation theory in 1947 has backfired. ... They want to change demography of the only Muslim majority state Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Mehbooba Mufti, former J&K CM We support the govt on its decisions. We hope this brings peace and development in J&K The decisions are unilateral & unconstitutional. This is an aggression against people of the state Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM Omar Abdullah, former J&K CM M A N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi BEFORE taking over as Home Minister on June 1, Amit Shah had briefly stopped to take a look at the portrait of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. In a little over two months, he delivered the message loud and clear that he means business, presiding over historic moves to ‘mainstream’ J&K positioning himself as the ‘iron man’ in the Narendra Modi dispensation. Shah was strict right from Day 1. Nobody could abstain from his meetings, not even National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. With a clear brief from the PM, Shah slipped into the job of minute detailing before going for the kill on Monday . That he would adopt a radically different approach on J&K was revealed to a few journalists who met him last month. “Do you expect me to follow a policy that has not yielded any results for the past 70 years?” he had said during the interaction. Of all state governors, Shah chose to meet J&K’s Satya Pal 72% voting in Vellore, DMK attributes delayed spike to Kashmir developments R S I V A K U M A R @ Vellore VELLORE Lok Sabha constituency which went to polls Mon, day recorded a robust 72.62 per , cent voting despite low turnout in the initial hours of the day . Among the six Assembly segments here, KV Kuppam registered the highest turnout of 82.62 per cent, while Vellore, with just 67.05 per cent had the lowest. Hours after the polling began, news of Centre scrapping Article 370 and 35A in Kashmir ple of Jammu and Kashmir want democracy and if you see clearly, you will know how much Article 370 has harmed J&K.” Shah highlighted that political reservation for OBCs and Dalits could not be implemented in J&K because of its special status. Also, no hospitals could be set up there owing to the rule prohibiting purchase of land by outsiders. That was also the reason why no industry could be set up, leading to unemployment, he explained. “What have Articles 370 and 35(A) given other than death and destruction?” he asked. He mocked that those who are saying there will be bloodshed in Kashmir have sent their children to London and other countries to study . “I want to assure them when the situation gets normal and the right time comes, we are ready to make Jammu and Kashmir a state again. It may take a little longer, but it will become a state once again, one day he added. ,” Later, the Rajya Sabha adopted the reorganisation bill with 125 ayes and 61 noes, with the Congress, DMK, TMC and Left opposing, and JD(U) staging a walkout. started to trickle in. Turnout in Muslim-dominated areas, such as Vaniyambadi and Ambur, picked up later in the day . While the turn out was 16.32 per cent in Vaniyambadi and 31.48 per cent in Ambur till 1 pm, by 5 in the evening, it had soared to 73.22 per cent and 70.51 per cent respectively . The opinion on how the policy change on Kashmir could have impacted Vellore voters is divided. “The issue is sure to have had an impact on voters,” says TS Mohammed Sayee, district organiser of DMK medical wing. “Voting gathered pace after the new trickled in, and people became aware of what has happened.” 2019 There was a sharp spike in polling between 3 and 5 pm, when the turnout percentage increased from 52.32 to 62.94. A total of 1,553 polling booths had been set up in the segment. P5 LOK SABHA ELECTION Malik first. Sources said Malik came out “mighty pleased” with instructions apparently given to him to “talk loud to divert attention”. Sources said Shah remained focused on the Kashmir agenda mobilising numbers in the Rajya Sabha by ensnaring MPs from vulnerable outfits. Passage of the triple talaq Bill gave the confidence to Shah that time has come to go big on J&K. “Shah sized up the security apparatus in the Valley during his maiden visit. With details of the J&K Bank scam available at his disposal, he knew the vulnerability of the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party leadership. His assessment of Panchayat elections and leaders made him believe the current political leadership of J&K is left with little popular endorsement and that the time to give effect to a larger plan had arrived,” said a senior BJP functionary . “Watch out for the next six months. He (Shah) will solve the Kashmir problem entirely ,” said a close aide of Shah. EXPRESS READ `10 lakh water bill for Madurai GH? To the shock of authorities of Government Rajaji Hospital, the Madurai Corporation has sent a communication directing it to pay `9.77 lakh as ‘water charges’ for the month of May | P5 Kerala accident: IAS officer suspended Around 60 hours after the tragic accident caused by IAS officer Sriram Venkataraman, the Kerala government on Monday suspended him. But, tests show no trace of alcohol in his blood | P8
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