Will India further divide Jammu & Kashmir? Possibilities & Rumors

1. South Kashmir to be carved out of the valley, joined with Jammu province to make Jammu as a state.

This is highly unlikely for a variety of reasons. Jammu province has around 35 percent Muslim population and if South Kashmir is added to it, Jammu will become Muslim majority. Splitting South Kashmir from the valley won’t work because it isn’t a separate region. Making it part of a separate administrative structure won’t distance it from other parts of Kashmir. And if South Kashmir especially Anantnag/ Shopian/ Kulgam districts are added to Jammu province, they will be primarily linked to Chinab valley and Pirpanchal – both Muslim majority regions. There has a lot of effort in the last 70 years to create a disconnect between Chinab valley, Pirpanchal, and Kashmir valley, why would they add a part of Kashmir to these Muslim majority regions. August 5, 2019, was not a mere administrative measure. It has serious ideological goals. How will caving out South Kashmir or even a couple of districts help the Sangh’s plan on JK: the plan to ensure demographic change to permanently alter the Muslim majority status of all regions of J&K.

2. Restoration of full statehood: this also looks unlikely because it will undo most of the measures that the Indian government took on and after August 5, 2019. A local government would reverse several of the measures taken since August 5, 2019 or at least freeze the policies that are aimed at speeding up demographic change on ground. Why would the Sangh government abandon its ideological plan mid-way especially when they have already taken such a major decision and started its implementation on August 5, 2019?

3. Splitting Jammu province from Kashmir and giving it statehood. This also is highly unlikely. When the Indian government decided to reorganize the J&K state in 2019, they chose to bifurcate it rather than trifurcate it (which was the initial RSS demand) with a purpose. Jammu-Sambha-Kathua belt was deliberately kept with Kashmir and Muslim majority Chinab valley/ Pirpanchal regions so that the entire place continues to be run from Keshav Bhawan in Jammu.

4. Delimitation: it is an ongoing process. There is no doubt that there will be a reorganization of constituencies to provide more seats to the Jammu-Kathua-Sambha belt/ reserve seats for ST/ SC population and KPs to try and alter the balance against the majority in JK. But this will take some time. It can’t be announced without concluding the process that has already been begun. What is possible: there is every likelihood of restoration of a truncated statehood on the pattern of Delhi, where the local government has no powers. This is in consonance with the August 5 reorganization where a chief minister would be like a mayor with no powers over law and order, revenue, and bureaucracy.

That way while there is a facade of locally elected government without powers, Delhi controls everything directly. This way, there will be no impact on the policy framework and the local political brass would also be accommodated. There is a lot of push from extreme Hindutva groups and KP organizations to carve out an exclusive enclosure for KP’s with a Union territory status inside Kashmir valley. KPs claim that a bill in this regard is already under consideration with MHA. The extreme Hindutva groups and KPs are upset because there is no headway in this regard. Can such a measure be taken? Where will the government find a big chunk of land for this type of enclosure while most of the land is privately owned? Is it feasible on the ground? There is, however, another aspect too which can’t be ignored. This current regime is unpredictable and has a history of making drastic moves based on ideology rather than informed by the ground situation. They also lie to hide their intentions till the last moment.

Other stuff: UAE facilitated secret talks between India and Pakistan have shown some visible results. The entry of China into the theatre last year and a direct confrontation in Ladakh last year added a new dimension and changing the conflict into a so-called two and half front battle. The region also became a live theatre in the larger US versus China tussle for dominance.

This new ground reality made these secret talks inevitable. We have seen few tangible outcomes – ceasefire along the LoC, Pak leadership toning down criticism of PM Modi. On the ground, the absence of non-local militants (reports suggest that not a single nonlocal militant was killed during encounters in the last six months and the infiltration is also substantially down). These measures are primarily a relief for New Delhi. But what has the other side got in return during these secret talks isn’t public. This can’t be a one-sided affair. Is there any measure that may be taken to give relief to people on the ground? This too will be out soon.

Via: Muzammil Jaleel

Fresh deployment of troops trigger worries of partition in the Valley

The Telegraph also reported:

Further developments include a series of meetings between top govt officials from the Union Territory administration and central govt in Delhi.

A flurry of developments, including fresh deployment of paramilitary forces, in Jammu and Kashmir has triggered worries of another partition of the erstwhile state, although officials claim these are routine developments.

The Valley has been rife with rumors of the fresh division of the region for the past couple of days, amid reports of troop build-up in parts of North Kashmir and Jammu and a series of meetings between top government officials from the Union Territory administration and central government in Delhi.

Many locals are publicly expressing fears that Jammu and Kashmir might be partitioned afresh into Jammu and Valley. In 2019, the Narendra Modi government had carved out Ladakh as a separate Union Territory by bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir along with the scrapping of Article 370.

“So many rumours again Statehood for Jammu, UT for Kashmir & you know how true rumours prove specially when it comes to J&K,” tweeted activist Guftar Ahmad, who is from Jammu’s Pir Panchal region. “Do whatever you want we are already on destruction path after abrogation of Article 370. 5th August, 2019, was black day for us.”

Officials said dozens of companies of paramilitary forces are being deployed across the Union Territory, in a throwback to the run-up of abrogation of Article 370 in 2019.

Unlike 2019, the government has not officially reacted to the rumours this time. Back then, the then governor Satya Pal Malik had rebuffed reports of scrapping of Article 35A, which gave exclusive rights to locals over land and jobs, and asked people not to panic. However, what followed was not just the scrapping of Articles 370 and 35A but bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories.

“We want to believe even in rumours rumoured to be rumours. We love rumours don’t we. Last few days has been all about rumours and conspiracies. They say don’t believe a rumour to be true until government actually denies it,” People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone tweeted, betraying the contempt that people harbour for any government clarifications.

Some politicians feared they might land in jail again.

“While rumours are flying thick and fast — should we be ready for second semester? MLA’s hostel 2.0?” tweeted Tanvir Sadiq, an aide of former chief minister Omar Abdullah. Tanvir was among dozens of politicians who were lodged in the MLA hostel after they were arrested in 2019 to prevent protests against the developments.

A police officer said more than 50 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in Jammu and Kashmir in the last few weeks and more are coming but he claimed it was a routine development.

“Around 200 companies were shifted out of J&K for elections in other states and prevent protests against the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act). They are being re-inducted. There is no fresh deployment,” an officer said.

In the run-up to the 2019 developments, the Centre had rushed hundreds of companies of paramilitary forces to J&K from other parts of the country, in addition to tens of thousands of troops already deployed here.


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