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India’s govt appoints former telecoms minister in charge of Kashmir

India’s govt appoints former telecoms minister in charge of Kashmir

The federal government in India on Thursday named a former telecoms minister to lead the disputed region of Kashmir. Manoj Sinha, a leader in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party, will replace career bureaucrat GC Murmu as lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir.

New Delhi hopes to accelerate economic development and end years of strife in the territory. The appointment came a day after the first anniversary of the revocation of Kashmir’s constitutional autonomy passed off without any street protests amid heavy deployment of police and restrictions on public movement, Reuters said.

Last August, Modi’s government removed the special privileges accorded to Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, took away its statehood and split it into two federally administered territories by carving up Buddhist-dominated Ladakh.