India Officially Divides Jammu and Kashmir; Issues New Political Map

Last updated on November 7th, 2019

India’s Muslim majority region of Kashmir, which has been facing dire conditions since the former’s government revoked Article 370 back in August, has been officially divided.

On Thursday, the government of India cleared that Jammu and Kashmir is one territory, and Ladakh – which borders China – is another union territory. The change implies that India will now have 28 states and nine union territories. Besides, R. K. Mathur and Girish Chandra Murmu were also sworn in as lieutenant governors of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, respectively on the same day.

This also means that the two new union territories will now be ruled directly from the Capital of India, Delhi.

“Now the real participation of co-operative federalism will be seen. New highways, new railway lines, new schools, new hospitals will take the development of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to new heights,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a public rally in the western state of Gujarat.

On Saturday, only two days after the announcement was made, the Centre released India’s new political map. The development marked new boundaries of the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

However, all this has come at a cost of communication clampdown and reports of human rights abuse in the region, which has heavily weighed on how progressive actually the move is. Although, mobile phones sprang to life across Kashmir valley last month, the ‘anti-India insurgency’ isn’t expected to settle as yet.

Meanwhile, it is still not known when will authorities in Kashmir restore the Internet services, and free the politicians who were taken into custody post scrapping of the article.

The partial resumption of cellphone is a “halfhearted measure” taken in response to international pressure, said Iltija Mufti, the daughter of Mehbooba Mufti, the former chief minister of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Our thoughts and words have been put under curfew,” Iltija Mufti said. “Are we supposed to celebrate phones working now?” she further questioned.

As figures state, almost 98 percent of the state’s population will now be in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, while the third region Ladakh, will inhabit around 300,000 people. Also, as informed, workers from previous state governments will continue to retain their jobs in the newly defined territories.

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