STORY: Federal government’s representative to Indian Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, met a host of political leaders on the third day of his five-day visit, aimed at bringing normalcy in the strife-torn state.
In a meeting with Communist Party of India’s state unit and other local political parties’ members, Sharma was told that Article 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution should not be removed or tinkered with.
Article 370 is a constitutional provision that grants the state special status to Indian Kashmir and allows it to make its own laws while Article 35A empowers legislature to define state’s permanent residents and their special rights and privileges.
However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party wants to scrap the same Article from the Constitution.
Though it has sidelined this demand after forming a coalition government in Kashmir, it has not abandoned it.
The former chief of India’s domestic intelligence also met former state chief Omar Abdullah.
Kashmir has always remained a sensitive issue, as the restive region has witnessed numerous militant attacks, insurgency, and infiltration attempts from across the border in the last two decades.
The Himalayan region is one of the world’s most militarized zones, with India deploying more than 1.3 million troops to quell the rebellion that triggered off in 1989.