India’s splitting of Kashmir opposed in Muslim border city

1000Source: Sheikh Saaliq

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s surprise move to carve out sparsely populated Ladakh from the state of Jammu and Kashmir to make it a territory directly controlled by New Delhi has been met with protests in Kargil, a Muslim-majority border city in Ladakh that identifies culturally with Kashmir, suggesting that the Hindu nationalist-led government’s plan to redraw the country’s political map will be far from easy.

While some Ladakhi lawmakers from Leh, the main city in the heavily Buddhist region with historic ties to Tibet, hailed the move as a long-overdue response to their requests for separation from restive Kashmir, organizations in Kargil condemned the decision.

Mountainous Jammu and Kashmir comprises three regions: Hindu-majority Jammu, Muslim-majority Kashmir, and heavily Buddhist Ladakh.

On Tuesday, the Indian government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, cutting off communications and deploying thousands of troops amid fears of a violent reaction. Kashmir is claimed by both India and Pakistan, and rebels have been fighting Indian rule in the portion it administers for decades.

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Categories: Asia, India, Kashmir, Muslims

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