History has been created today as Jammu and Kashmir now cease to exist as a ‘state’ and has been officially bifurcated into two Union Territories – Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Nearly three months after the historic abrogation of Article 370 to revoke the special status by the central government, the erstwhile state will now be recognised as two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the appointed day for the two UTs was October 31 and these came into existence at midnight.
Following the creation of the two Union Territories, the President’s rule imposed in undivided Jammu and Kashmir has been revoked, according to a government notification.
RK Mathur, the first Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Ladakh was sworn in by Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Geeta Mittal in an official ceremony. IAS officer Girish Chandra Murmu will take over as Lieutenant Governor of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir later in the day.
Leh: Radha Krishna Mathur takes oath as the first Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Ladakh. pic.twitter.com/lYpybg1YD0
— ANI (@ANI) October 31, 2019
The Home Ministry in a notification on Wednesday replaced the state of Jammu and Kashmir with the “union territory of Jammu and Kashmir” and announced exclusion of “permanent residents or hereditary state subjects”.
In the late-night notification, the ministry’s Jammu and Kashmir division announced new measures, including the application of central laws. “There are references in the state laws that have been applied to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Union Territory of Ladakh to the expressions ‘permanent residents’ or ‘hereditary state subjects’…, wherever they occur, shall be omitted,” it said.
Following the Home Ministry notification, the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and the Ranbir Penal Code will cease to exist.
With the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, the number of states in the country has come down to 28 and the number of Union Territories has gone up to nine. While Jammu and Kashmir will continue to have a legislature, similar to Puducherry, Ladakh will be without a legislature like Chandigarh.
From now on, the Union government will have the power to control the police and the law and order in Jammu and Kashmir, while the land will be under the elected government of the union territory. Ladakh will be under the direct control of the central government which will administer it through the Lieutenant Governor.