10,000 paramilitary forces rushed to Jammu & Kashmir! Nehru Era’s another blunder on a verge of getting struck-down?

Unexpected developments are taking place in Jammu and Kashmir since last 12 hours. On 22nd night the ministry of home affairs (MHA) sent an urgent fax and ordered 100 companies of paramilitary forces to be deployed in the Kashmir valley. After the Pulwama attack, the centre government had already increased the forces, and now it further increased.

A report said “a company of soldiers typically consists of between 80 and 150 soldiers, suggesting that last evening’s order by the Ministry of Home Affairs would see around 10,000 soldiers airlifted to Srinagar”. Among the 100 companies, 45 will be from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), 35 from the Border Security Force (BSF), whereas just 10 are from the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Indo-Tibetan Boder Police (ITBP) each. The fax read “CRPF is requested to ensure immediate movement of forces in coordination with IG (Ops) of all forces”.

What followed this was a series of arrest where not just the separatist Yasin Malik was detained but also Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani were placed under house arrest. This move led to the speculation that section 35A might be scrapped. Yes, on February 25th there will be a hearing in the Supreme Court on Article 35-A.

Needless to say that Article 35A was implemented when the government was then headed by Nehru. According to Article 35A, no one except the permanent residents will be able to settle permanently in the state, acquire immovable property, avail government jobs, scholarships and aid.

In July 2017, Supreme Court lawyer Charu Wali Khanna also challenged Article 35A and said “Article 14 of the Constitution gives a fundamental right to equality before law. But 35A is heavily loaded in favour of males because even after marriage to women from outside, they will not lose the right of being permanent residents”.

This article that was incorporated into the Indian Constitution in 1954, grants special rights and privileges to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir. And now all eyes are on the Supreme Court as crores of Indians are expecting an equal law to everyone.

Hansika Raj