India moves to divide Kashmir despite protests
October 31, 2019 - India has formally split up the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two new federally-administered territories, as part of a sweeping move to tighten its grip over the restive region.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government withdrew Kashmir’s autonomy in August but in addition it also announced the division of the state into two territories to be directly ruled from New Delhi — one consisting of Jammu and Kashmir and the other the remote Buddhist enclave of Ladakh.
In advance of the move, it poured thousands of more troops into the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley - where fighting against the Indian rule has been continuing for decades - and made sweeping arrests to prevent any outbreak of violence.
The government also imposed severe restrictions on travel and cut telephone and internet lines. Some measures have been scaled back but a security lockdown is still largely in place and broadband and mobile internet connections remain unavailable to most Kashmiris.
India and Pakistan both claim Kashmir in full, but control only parts of it.
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