Jammu and Kashmir has now been officially separated from Buddhist dominated Ladakh. This was preceded by the constitutional changes approved by the Indian parliament on Aug. 5 revoking the autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir.
The region has now been been divided into union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, administered by two lieutenant governors Girish Chandra Murmu and Radha Krishna Mathur, respectively.
While Jammu and Kashmir will have an elected assembly with truncated powers, there will be no elected legislature for Ladakh. The upper house of the assembly also ceases to exist. The region no longer will have its own constitution or flag.
All laws passed by the Indian parliament will be applicable in the region. The Indian Penal Code (IPC) will replace the local Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) of Jammu and Kashmir.
The separate citizenship law under Article 35 (A) of the Indian constitution stands null and void. Any Indian citizen from any part of the country can now buy property in Jammu and Kashmir, take a state government job and enjoy scholarships and other government benefits. Children of a woman marrying outside Jammu and Kashmir will not lose property rights.
The region’s own employment cadre, Kashmir Administrative Service will be now open for Indian citizens to compete. “The new recruitment will be held under laws applicable to centrally administered territories of India.
An employee working in Kashmir can be now transferred to any other far off centrally administered region. The Indian Administrative Services officers, who come from other Indian states, even after serving in Jammu and Kashmir until their retirement were not entitled to buy a property.
The new arrangement comes as a boost for security forces, who for setting their base and camps had to go through a range of legal hassles to acquire land. “Any central agency can come and apply to get land,” he said.
There is no clarity as yet, about the official language of the region. Under the now-scrapped Jammu and Kashmir constitution, Urdu was the official language of the region. But the Indian constitution could recognizes Hindi as the official language.
Six commissions that included Human Rights, Information, Consumer Disputes Redressal, Electricity Regulatory, Protection of Women and Child Rights, Persons with Disabilities and State Accountability cease to exist.
According to a document issued by Indian Home Ministry, the private industries, which were not able to establish units for want of acquiring land, will now set up manufacturing units and attend to the issue of unemployment.
“The issue had led to unemployment in youths. This unemployment was giving them enough time to take part in activities like stone pelting and separatism movement,” the document added.
It further argued that social amalgamation will reduce the threat of militancy and predicted Kashmir to become one of the top tourist destinations after complete development.
The new arrangement will also prove to be good diplomacy to deal with Pakistan over territorial disputes. It will politically give chance to all parties to rule the state and allow its development,” argued the ministry document, explaining the rationale behind the scraping of autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir.