Three days after the Centre removed special status for Jammu and Kashmir and passed a bill to bifurcate the state into two Union Territories, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spelt out the government’s agenda for the region. Addressing the nation, the PM said a new era has begun in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. “Article 370 and Article 35 (A) did not give anything except separatism, corruption, terrorism and family rule,” he said. Calling it a “historic decision”, the PM said the removal of Article 370 was a dream of Sardar Patel, S P Mookerjee, B R Ambedkar and Atal Bihari Vajpayee and crores of people.
Modi’s speech centred on the removal of Article 370. “In last three decades, over 42,000 people lost their lives,” he said, adding “we will rid J&K of terrorism and separatism under new measures.”
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday announced the revocation of certain provisions of the Article through a Presidential Order. The order also sought to bifurcate the state into two union territories. On Tuesday, the Parliament ratified the resolution to scrap Article 370 and passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill. Meanwhile, Kashmir remains in a state of lockdown since Sunday night, with heavy deployment of troops and the arrest of mainstream political leaders, including former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah.