Indian Supreme Court begins hearings on controversial Kashmir residency law

Indian Supreme Court begins hearings on controversial Kashmir residency law

A two-day strike, called by the Kashmiri separatist political group, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, is expected to begin in

kashmir-curfew_reuters

Photo: Reuters

A two-day strike, called by the Kashmiri separatist political group, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, is expected to begin in the Kashmir Valley today.

The impetus for the demonstrations is a challenge by We The Citizens, an NGO, to Article 35A of the Indian Constitution. The article defines permanent residents of the region and allots them certain privileges, such as the right to own land and vote and prevents non-residents from holding state government positions. The case will be heard by the Supreme Court on Monday.

The challenge comes in the wake of the resignation of the region’s chief minister, Mehooba Mufti, due to the increasingly hard-line policies pushed by her coalition partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP, which is Hindu-nationalist, and it’s Kashmir branch have pushed to open debate on the law

Should Article 35A be overturned, civil strife and violence could erupt in the state, which has seen continual insurgency over the past three decades. Likewise, tampering with the law could stoke already-prominent Kashmiri nationalism and potentially reopen debate surrounding the legitimacy of the 1947 Instrument of Accession, which allots the region, claimed by India, Pakistan and China, to New Delhi.

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.