With tensions mounting in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) as the government revokes special status granted to the valley, calls in additional troops and orders tourists to evacuate the region, a statement by veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher has left people stunned.
Prominent Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani had on Saturday taken to Twitter to urge the global Muslim community to help “save their souls” from “the biggest genocide” India is about to launch in held Kashmir.
With the situation in the Himalayan territory worsening as Indian armed forces martyr at least 10 Kashmiri youth within the last three days and the government announcing its decision to scrap Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, actor Anupam Kher believes that “Kashmir solution has begun”.
Kher, a Kashmiri Pandit, has been seen supporting Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi on several occasions. His wife Kirron Kher is also a lawmaker of the hardliner ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The veteran actor had earlier said that “all the issues in the valley will be resolved if Article 370, which provides special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir is abolished”.
Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is a “temporary provision” that grants special autonomous status to occupied Kashmir. All the provisions of the constitution that are applicable to other states are not applicable to the disputed territory.
According to this article, except for defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications, the Indian Parliament needs the state government’s approval for applying all other laws.
The residents of occupied Kashmir, therefore, live under a separate set of laws as compared to Indian citizens elsewhere in the country, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights.
As a result, Indian citizens from other states cannot purchase land or property in occupied Kashmir. With the government moving to revoke the article, fate of IoK’s 13 million population hangs in balance.