India downgrades Kashmir’s autonomy
India’s Hindu-majority government on Monday issued a decree revoking the special autonomy status of a portion of the Muslim-majority Kashmir state. Authorities suspended internet services on cellphones, deployed additional troops, shut down schools, and banned public meetings in the region. Days earlier, the Indian government ordered tourists and Hindu pilgrims to leave.
What was the purpose of the special status? Kashmir operated with an independent constitution except on issues of defense, communications, and foreign affairs. The law also forbids Indians outside the state from permanently settling, buying land, or holding local government jobs. The revocation represents a political slap in the face to neighboring Pakistan, which disputes India’s claim on parts of the territory. The decree will require the approval of the Parliament of India.
Dig deeper: Read Anna K. Poole’s report for WORLD Digital on India and Pakistan’s conflict over Kashmir.
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