Kashmir comes under direct Delhi rule
Dawn, July 12, 2008
SRINAGAR, July 11: India imposed federal rule in occupied Kashmir on Friday after the regional government fell over a controversial transfer of land to a Hindu shrine trust that sparked days of rioting in the Muslim-dominated territory.
The government land move sparked some of the biggest protests from Muslims last month since a freedom movement broke out in the region in 1989. At least six people were killed in the protests and hundreds injured.
An official statement said the governor had dissolved the assembly.
It was a third time since a liberation movement against Indian occupation broke out in 1989 that federal rule has been imposed.
“N.N. Vohra (governor) sought the concurrence of the president of India for issuance of a proclamation to enforce governor’s rule,” an official statement read.
In the face of violent protests from Muslims, the government withdrew its decision of transferring land to build shelters for Hindu pilgrims visiting the Amarnath cave to pray by an ice stalagmite considered sacred.
But the People’s Democratic Party, a regional coalition party, still pulled out in protest and reduced the government to a minority.
Kashmiri leaders had said that by granting the land to a Hindu shrine trust, the government was trying to change the demography of Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority territory .
Direct rule is expected to last until next elections, due later this year.—Reuters
Kashmir under direct federal rule - BBC
Kashmir turmoil and the Amarnath crisis - Praful Bidwai, The News