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Plea files in Indian SC against changes to Article 370

Plea files in Indian SC against changes to Article 370
August 18, 2019
NEW DELHI (Web Desk) – A petition filed in Indian Supreme Court (SC) jointly by a group of eminent citizens who had served in Jammu and Kashmir in high bureaucratic and military positions, has challenged the amendment made to Article 370 of the Constitution and the reorganisation of the State into two Union Territories. According to the Indian media, the petition described the amendments as striking at the heart of the principles on which the State of J&K integrated with India, especially as they had no affirmation/sanction from the people of J&K. The petition said the consent of the people before amending Article 370 was a constitutional imperative. The petition has been filed by Radha Kumar, a former member of the Home Ministry’s Group of Interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir (2010-11), as well as an academic and policy analyst who has worked on conflicts and peacemaking in South Asia, Europe and Africa for over 20 years. The next petitioner is Hindal Haidar Tyabji, a former Chief Secretary of the State of Jammu, followed by Air Vice Marshal (retired) Kapil Kak, a permanent resident of Jammu and Kashmir and decorated officer. The other petitioners are Major General (retd) Ashok Kumar Mehta, who has held postings in the Uri Sector and fought in the 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan wars; and Amitabha Pande, a former Secretary of the Inter State Council of the Government of India. And finally, Gopal Pillai, a former Union Home Secretary who has dealt with the State in both peacetime and turmoil. The petition was drafted by advocates Arjun Krishnan, Kaustubh Singh and Rajlakshmi Singh. On August 5, the Indian government rushed through a presidential decree to scrap a special status for Indian-held Jammu Kashmir, hours after imposing a major security clampdown in the region. Amit Shah has announced to abrogate Articles 370 and 35A from its constitution, which gives special status and rights to the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier, authorities in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) placed former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti and political figure Sajjad Lon under house arrest keeping in view the tense situation in the valley. The Indian government imposed curfew-like restrictions in the restive region. The examinations in all universities were postponed and internet services would remain suspended till August 15. A restriction on sale of petrol haD been imposed in Anantnag. Politicians protested against uncertain situation in the valley after all parties meeting in the valley. Farooq Abdullah speaking on the occasion said a befitting response would be given against independent identity of Kashmir. Taking to Twitter, Omar Abdullah said he was being placed under house arrest and that a similar process had already started for other leaders.