THE HAGUE (Agencies) — The Indian government’s revocation of the autonomy and special status of Jammu and Kashmir “violates the rights of representation and participation guaranteed to the people” under the Indian constitution and in international law, and “is a blow to the rule of law and human rights in the state and in India”, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said in a statement.
Indian parliament this week approved a proposal by the Hindu nationalist party-led government that strips statehood from Jammu and Kashmir, splitting the region into two union territories.
The legislation was introduced alongside a presidential order that takes from the region and its people some political autonomy and hereditary rights by revoking Article 370 of India’s Constitution.
The changes will also lift a ban on property purchases by nonresidents of Kashmir, opening the way for Indians outside the territory to invest and settle there. The local Muslim population has long feared such measures would change Kashmir’s demography, culture and way of life.