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Modi hails Kashmir crackdown as ‘historic’ decision that helps combat terror and separatism

Modi hails Kashmir crackdown as ‘historic’ decision that helps combat terror and separatism
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated his government’s decision to revoke the special legal status in the contested Kashmir region, condemning the previous arrangement for breeding terrorism and emboldening separatists.

Following a move earlier this week to rescind the articles of the Indian Constitution granting Kashmir’s political autonomy, the PM said on Thursday that the act would only reverse the “separatism, corruption, terrorism and family rule” that have taken root in the region.

“As a country and as a family we have taken a historic decision,” Modi said, adding that the former system in Kashmir had left many “bereft of various rights,” and has therefore been “done away with.” Kashmiris, Modi assured all, would still be able to “elect [their] representatives in a transparent way.”

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Two articles of the Indian Constitution – 370 and 35A – had until now given the territories of Kashmir and Jammu a greater degree of control over their local affairs, but since last year they have been under de facto federal control. A bill to formally remove the special status passed the Indian parliament on Monday, and was later approved by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind.

Some 35,000 soldiers were deployed to the region in preparation for the unrest the decision might provoke, but there are, so far, no reports of major clashes with security forces.

In Thursday’s statement, the prime minister also assailed Islamabad for exploiting the region’s former autonomous status to support terror groups in the Kashmir Valley, a common refrain of many members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Pakistan, which also claims territorial rights to Kashmir, denies any support for terrorism.

Also on rt.com Pakistan ‘not looking at military action’ over India’s Kashmir moves – FM

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