During the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, Jammu and Kashmir, like other Muslim-majority regions, was expected to go to Pakistan. But the ruler of the princely state, who had initially wanted to become independent, joined India in return for help against an invasion of tribesmen from Pakistan.
In 1949, a special provision was added to the constitution providing autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir. Article 370 allows the state to have its own constitution, a separate flag and independence over all matters except foreign affairs, defence and communications. Another provision later added under Article 370 – 35A – provides special privileges to permanent residents, including state government jobs and the exclusive right to own property in the state.
It is seen as protecting the state’s distinct demographic character as the only Muslim-majority state in India. These benefits will be lost with the repeal of Article 370.
Article 35A which stems from Article 370 was introduced through a Presidential Order in 1954. This article empowers the legislature of occupied Kashmir to define the state’s permanent residents and their special rights and privileges.
All identified residents are issued a permanent resident certificate, which entitles them to special benefits related to employment, scholarships and other privileges. But the biggest advantage for permanent residents is that only they have the right to own and buy property in the state.
(a) Parliament shall have, and the Legislature of a State shall not have, power to make laws-
This article holds particular significance as it protects IoK’s distinct demography and ensures that it remains India’s only Muslim-majority state.
India on Monday abrogated Article 370 and 35A which gives special rights to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir territory. As per Article 35A, a person cannot acquire any immovable proper in Kashmir if he or she is not a permanent resident of the region. India has imposed a curfew for an indefinite period in the occupied Kashmir and suspended internet service. The Indian authorities have banned movement of public and closed all educational institutions.
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