This morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah met for an hour before a cabinet meeting at the residence of the PM in Delhi. The meeting comes amid the uncertainty of which triggered after the house arrest after midnight on Sunday of three most prominent politicians of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah, and Sajad Lone.
The cabinet meeting began following a short meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, including PM Modi, the Home Minister, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
The meetings are extremely important due to the ongoing tension in Jammu and Kashmir where there has been a massive build-up of security over the weekend. “As per the order, there shall be no movement of public and all educational institutions shall also remain closed. There will be a complete bar on holding any kind of public meetings or rallies during the period of operation of this order,” a government statement said.
The government on Friday asked all the Amarnath Yatra Pilgrims and tourists to leave the state immediately, in a highly unusual advisory. The residents of the state rushed to stock up on essentials and fuel.
It is being speculated among Jammu and Kashmir politicians after the restrictions, that there may be plans to modify special status granted to the state under the constitutions through Article 35A and Article 370. The Modi government has been unambiguous in opposing both articles in its election manifesto.
Several politicians have expressed their concern on Sunday including Omar Abdullah. “I believe I’m being placed under house arrest from midnight tonight and the process has already started for other mainstream leaders. No way of knowing if this is true but if it is then I’ll see all of you on the other side of whatever is in store. Allah save us,” tweeted Omar Abdullah.
All the major political parties of the state met at the residence of his father Farooq Abdullah, National Conference chief, to discuss the action taken by the Centre. They also expressed their concern and fear considering it a larger effort to repeal the state’s special status.
Farooq Abdullah stated after the meeting that delegations will be sent to meet President Ram Nath Kovind and PM Modi notify them about the “consequences” of any attempt to tinker with Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution. Several other political leaders including Congress leader Shashi Tharoor and Communist Party of India-Marxist chief Sitaram Yechury came out in his support.