New Delhi - In a significant turn of events, the Supreme Court upheld the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A in Jammu and Kashmir. The apex body further directed the government to restore statehood to the region. While acknowledging the reorganization into Union Territories in 2019 as a temporary measure, the court instructed the government to restore statehood and conduct Legislative Assembly elections. Justice Kaul, in his concurring opinion, proposed establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in J&K to address alleged rights violations.
A panel of five judges, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, had reserved its judgment on 23 petitions related to the matter on September 5 this year, concluding a 16-day hearing. The bench, consisting of Justices S K Kaul, Sanjeev Khanna, B R Gavai, and Surya Kant, stated that Jammu and Kashmir did not possess internal sovereignty after joining India. Chief Justice DY Chandrachud mentioned there was no apparent evidence that the President's 2019 orders were made in bad faith or constituted an inappropriate exercise of power.
With the hashtag ‘Naya Jammu Kashmir,’ external affairs minister S. Jaishankar posted on X (formerly Twitter), “Through today’s historic verdict, the Supreme Court has upheld the decision of the Parliament on 5 August 2019. In this time, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have seen development, good governance, and empowerment that were long due. This has strengthened India’s unity and integrity. Today’s judgment portends a brighter future for our brothers and sisters in J&K and Ladakh. The Modi Government will continue its relentless efforts to bring more growth and development for them.”
Praising Modi, politician Anurag Thakur said, “People of Bharat 🇮🇳 are overwhelmed by the judgment of the Supreme Court upholding the decision of the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35 A of the Constitution by the NDA government led by PM Shri Narendra Modi Ji.” “On August 5, 2019, the day the Modi government withdrew the special status of J&K to undo one of the many historic blunders committed by Congress during the Nehruvian era, certain political ecosystems and their offshoots and offshore sympathizers started conspiracies against this integration process because they never wanted normalcy to return to the valley.”
“Unification of Bharat was incomplete without ‘Ek Pradhan, Ek Nishan, Ek Vidhan,’ and this objective was finally achieved. Under the leadership of Modi ji, peace and prosperity are returning, and people have rejected terrorism. More power to @narendramodi ji because the nation trusts him as a man of his word who can restore the glory and territory of Bharat, lost in the past. Jayatu Bharat.”
Omar Abdullah, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, said, “Disappointed but not disheartened. The struggle will continue. It took the BJP decades to reach here. We are also prepared for the long haul. #WeShallOvercome #Article370.” Mehbooba Mufti uploaded a video to support the distressed Kashmiris. She said, “Do not lose hope. Jammu and Kashmir has seen a lot of ups and downs. The judgment is not our destination but just an obstacle. This is not our loss but the loss of the idea of India.”
Security has been increased in Jammu and Kashmir because the Supreme Court is going to decide on a group of requests that question the removal of special privileges granted to the region under Article 370 of the Constitution. To keep things in control, security forces are present in various places in the valley. They have set up checkpoints in and around Srinagar, where they are checking vehicles and people randomly. Similar checkpoints are in place in other districts of Kashmir too.
People can move around freely in the valley; there are no restrictions. However, security agencies are keeping a close watch on the situation. Additionally, the Cyber Police in Kashmir are advising social media users to be responsible. People's Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti claimed she was placed under house arrest on Monday, according to her party, just before the Supreme Court's anticipated verdict on petitions challenging the removal of Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The police neither confirmed nor denied this development, which occurred shortly before the expected court judgment.
Simultaneously, journalists were not permitted to gather near the residence of National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah on Gupkar Road. Police personnel were stationed at the entry point, restricting access to the NC leaders' residence.