Srinagar, Aug 04: The constitutional changes effected by the BJP-led Central government in August last year has not only stripped Jammu & Kashmir of its special status and identity but also snatched exclusive rights of its permanent residents over jobs, immoveable property and contesting state polls.
Exactly on this day in 2019, last Governor of Satya Pal Malik gave concurrence to application of all provisions of the Constitution of India to Jammu and Kashmir and amendments in two constitutional provisions to pave way for abrogation of Article 370.
On August 5 and 6, two presidential orders were issued on concurrence of J&K Governor and resolutions passed by the Parliament to abrogate Article 370 and Jammu and Kashmir’s constitution.
The unilateral constitutional changes took away Jammu & Kashmir’s special status and also exclusive rights of its permanent residents on jobs, immoveable property and contesting polls.
Before last year’s changes, Article 35A empowered the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents
The provision was added to the Constitution through a Presidential Order, i.e., The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 – issued by the President of India on 14 May 1954.This provision was rendered ineffective as Presidential Order of August 5 superseded the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 as amended from time to time.
Not only constitutional changes, the Parliament also approved Jammu and Kashmir Re-Organization Act-2019 re-organising the erstwhile state of J&K into two Union Territories.
As a follow-up to the constitutional changes, Jammu and Kashmir’s state flag was removed from civil secretariat building in last week of August.
The state of J&K ceased to exist from intervening night of October 30 and 31 as it was converted into two Union Territories by virtue of the J&K Re-Organisation law.
According to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), on October 31, Lieutenant Governors G C Murmu and R K Mathur took oath in Srinagar and Leh, respectively. On March 18, 2020 the Government of India effected J&K-specific changes in central laws to facilitate their application to newly carved out Union Territory.
In March this year, the Centre came up with domicile law, opening up jobs in the UT to outsiders.
Under the law, a person who has resided in J&K for 15 years or has studied for seven years and appeared in Class 10 or Class 12 exams in an educational institution located in J&K will be deemed to have ‘domicile’.
The law also provided that children of central government officials, All India Services officers, officials of public sector undertakings and autonomous bodies of the central government, public sector banks, officials of statutory bodies, officials of central universities and recognised research institutes of the centre who have served in J&K for a total period of 10 years or children of parents who fulfil any of the conditions in the rule will also get domicile status.
Detentions: Nearly 5000 persons including three former chief ministers and prominent politicians were detained in J&K to scuttle protests against abrogation of Article 370.
In November last year, the Centre informed the Parliament that 5161 persons were detained in J&K since August 5.
Those detained included three former CMs- Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti- and prominent politicians like Sajad Gani Lone, Shah Faesal etc.
Restrictions on phone and internet services
Hours before August 5 decision, the telephone services and internet were suspended in Jammu and Kashmir.
The voice call and SMS facility on mobile phones was restored in January this year across Kashmir Valley.
But the authorities are yet to restore 4G internet services in Jammu and Kashmir, causing inconvenience to lakhs of people.