J&K and Ladakh To Be Separate Union Territories - Here's What It Means For Travellers

The centre has decided to bifurcate Jammu & Kashmir into two Union Territories. The Government notified that J&K shall now be a UT with legislature while Ladakh will be identified as a separate Union Territory without legislature. Home Minister Amit Shah introduced a J&K Reorganization Bill in Rajya Sabha after the Article 370 of the Constitution - which gives J&K a special status - was scrapped today. 

The decision puts Ladakh at power with other UTs in India which do not have a legislature, including Lakshwadweep, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Chandigarh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Shah stated, “The Ladakh Division of the State of Jammu & Kashmir has a large area but is sparsely populated with a very difficult terrain. There has been a long pending demand of the people of Ladakh, to give it a status of a Union Territory to enable them to realize their aspirations. The Union Territory of Ladakh will be without Legislature.” Because of the situation in the valley, the upliftment of people has been neglected. According to experts, this bifurcation will aid the same.
This implies that instead of having its own elected government, these two Union Territories will have a government controlled by the Central Government. In case of J&K Union Territory, it will be a self-administered government with a legislative government while Ladakh UT will fall under the direct rule of the President of India - who is the chief administrator of Union Territories under Article 239 of the Indian Constitution.

Currently, the state of Jammu and kashmir observes a heavy and strictly punctuated lockdown as its fate continues to be discussed in the Parliament. Many top leaders of the J&K administration are under house arrest. Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Sajad Lone, significant politicians in J&K, were put under unprecedented house arrest after Sunday midnight. Internet, mobile phones and landlines are under restrictions in many parts of the area. There is an alarming increase in security which has made the situation extremely volatile. 

Netizens all across social media have taken up various hashtags such as #standwithkashmir and #redforkashmir to fight for Kashmiri citizens and political leaders to be granted the use of their rightful voice and vote to decide the future of their state.

Now that the Bill is under review, let us know your opinions in the comments below!

This post was published by Sushmita Ghangas

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