The Srinagar administration on Monday declared a curfew for August 4 and 5, the first anniversary of removal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status by abrogating Article 370 as it “feared protests and violence.”
The orders on complete restrictions on public movement and a curfew in Srinagar were issued by virtue of powers vested under Section 144.
Business establishments, markets and shops were closed while public transport have remained off the roads in the Valley. The movement of people has also been strictly regulated amid heavy development of security forces on roads.
There are specific inputs about violent protests endangering public life and property,” an order issued by district magistrate Srinagar Shahid Chaudhary quoting a report of SSP Srinagar stated.
The order said only medical emergencies would be exempted as the restrictions would come into force with immediate effect and continue up to August 5. Officials said it was also in the wake of a spike in COVID-19 cases.
What is Article 370 ?
- Article 370 of the Indian constitution gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, a region located in the northern part of Indian subcontinent which was administered by India as a state from 1954 to 31 October 2019 and a part of the larger region of Kashmir which has been the subject of dispute between India, Pakistan and China since 1947,conferring it with the power to have a separate constitution, a state flag and autonomy over the internal administration of the state.
- On 5 August 2019, the Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 in the Rajya Sabha to convert Jammu and Kashmir’s status of a state to two separate union territories, namely Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh. The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir was proposed to have a legislature under the bill whereas the union territory of Ladakh is proposed to not have one.
- By the end of the day, the bill was passed by Rajya Sabha with 125 votes in its favour and 61 against (67%). The next day, the bill was passed by the Lok Sabha with 370 votes in its favour and 70 against it (84%). The bill became an Act after it was signed by the president.
- The two union territories came into existence on 31 October 2019, which was celebrated as National Unity Day. The president of India appointed a Lt. Governor for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and a Lt. Governor for the Union Territory of Ladakh.
- Both the Lt. Governors were sworn in by Justice Gita Mittal, the Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, on 31 October 2019, first at Leh for Ladakh UT and then at Srinagar for Jammu and Kashmir UT