JAMMU AND KASHMIR WERE FORMALLY DIVIDED




Selin ATAY-TDO-Jammu and Kashmir which special status was abolished by Hindu nationalist Narenda Modi on August 5, is formally divided into two new federally-administered territories by India.

In the new arrangement, Jammu and Kashmir is one territory, and Ladakh, which borders China, is separate. The two new union territories are now ruled directly from the capital Delhi. With the division of Jammu Kashmir into two, the number of states in India with a federal state structure decreased from 29 to 28, while the number of union territories increased from 7 to 9.

Under the new arrangement, Jammu Kashmir, the territory of the Union, will have a legislature endowed with limited powers, while there will be no assembly in Ladakh. Both Union lands will be directly connected to the center. All laws adopted by the Indian Parliament will apply to both union territories.

Jammu Kashmir will not have its own constitution and flag. Indian citizens from anywhere in the country will be able to purchase land in the region, serve in state cadres, and benefit from scholarships and other state aid.

Jahangir Iqbal, a former legal spokesman for Jammu Kashmir, said in a statement on the matter. The recruits will be carried out under laws imposed on centrally administered Indian territory, the statement said. Iqbal stated that a person working in Jammu Kashmir could be transferred to any region administered by the central government.

The Indian government claims that with the new arrangement, the region's economy will be improved by integrating into the rest of the country and the welfare level of the people will increase.

Since 1947, when independence from Britain was gained, Jammu Kashmir has been in the privileged position of being able to issue its own laws. This special status included the Citizenship Act, which did not allow foreigners to settle in the area and acquire property.  India revoked Article 370 of the Constitution, which had granted privileges to Jammu Kashmir for more than half a century, on 5 August, abolishing the special status structure of the region and dividing Jammu Kashmir into two regions under the Central "Union Territory" status.