SRINAGAR: Scrapping of Article 370 is betrayal of the trust that the people of Jammu and Kashmir had reposed in India when the State acceded to it in 1947, said Omar Abdullah, the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
Abdullah, while commenting on the Centre's decision, said that the abrogation of Article 370 will have far-reaching and dangerous consequences.
Article 370 of the Indian Constitution gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and barred people from rest of India from buying property in the region. It's abrogation had always been a contentious issue with the regional parties uniting against the decision.
"Government of India (GOI)'s unilateral and shocking decisions today are a total betrayal of the trust that the people of Jammu & Kashmir had reposed in India when the State acceded to it in 1947. The decisions will have far-reaching and dangerous consequences. This is an aggression against people of the State as had been warned by an all-parties meeting in Srinagar yesterday," read the statement by the National Conference leader.
"GOI has resorted to deceit and stealth in recent weeks to lay the ground for these disastrous decisions. Our darkest apprehensions have unfortunately come true after the GOI and it's representatives in J and K lied to us that nothing major was planned," it added.
The former chief minister further asserted that the announcement was made after the entire state, particularly the Kashmir Valley, was turned into a garrison.
He dubbed the decision as "unconstitutional" and added that his party is ready for the "long and tough battle" that lies ahead.
"Those of us who gave democratic voice to the people of Jammu & Kashmir, are incarcerated as lakhs of armed security personnel have been put on the ground," he said.
"The scrapping of Articles 370 and 35A raise fundamental questions on the State's accession because that was done on the very terms enunciated in these Articles. The decisions are unilateral, illegal and unconstitutional and will be challenged as such by the National Conference. A long and tough battle lies ahead. We are ready for that," he added.
In decisions with far-reaching implications, the BJP-led Centre scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and converted the border state into a Union Territory with a legislature, implementing the long-held agenda of the party and its predecessor, Jan Sangh.
The state was also bifurcated by carving Ladakh region from the state and making it into a Union Territory without a legislature.