Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah's National Conference (NC) party on Saturday moved the Supreme Court challenging President Ram Nath Kovind' order on Article 370 of the Constitution, revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
The petition moved by NC leaders Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi seeks to declare the Article 370 Resolution and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 as "unconstitutional, void and inoperative" in the state bordering Pakistan.
In a bold and far-reaching decision, the Centre in early August revoked Article 370 of the Constitution to take away the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. It has also passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019, with a massive majority in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, in a bid to bifurcate the state into two Union Territories (UTs) - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The decisions mark a new milestone in the political orridor of India with the BJP-led government breaking new grounds on issues that have been virtually untouched in last more than 70 years. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, however, has stated that full statehood will be restored again to Jammu and Kashmir at "appropriate time" and after "normalcy" returns in the region.
Addresing the nation on the Centre's move on Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also promised that Jammu and Kashmir will be given back its full statehood while Ladakh will continue to be a Union Territory.
Days ahead of the unprecedented move by the Modi-led BJP government, the Valley had been flooded with thousands of additional troops, triggering panic and rumours across the region. In less than a week, the Centre decided to deploy additional 38,000 troops in the Kashmir Valley in two batches - 10,000 and 28,000.
The unrest in the region had further intensified in the wake of Jammu and Kashmir authorities issuing an advisory, asking tourists, Amarnath pilgrims and students to cut short their stay citing security threats. The advisory followed an Army warning that said Pakistan-based terrorists were planning to target the Amarnath Yatra.
Anticipating protests and agitation, authorities had also arrested mainstream politicians, including former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah and taken them to unknown government guesthouses.
The officials had also instructed to keep all the educational institutions, government offices, and communication channels shut until further notices in the Valley. Kashmiris living outside the state were also unable to contact their families owing to the unexemplary shutdown of internet and mobile services across Jammu and Kashmir.