PM Modi set to chair all-party meet on J&K today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a crucial meeting with political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir at his Delhi residence at 3 pm today. It is being seen as a first step toward restoring political processes in the Union Territory. J&K lost its special status and statehood in an exercise by the Centre in 2019. Here are more details on this.
14 leaders of eight parties invited for meet
Fourteen leaders of eight parties have been invited for the meet. They include four former Chief Ministers - Mehbooba Mufti of the People's Democratic Party, Farooq Abdullah of National Conference, his son Omar, and Congress party's Ghulam Nabi Azad. The Gupkar alliance, formed last year with the aim of restoring J&K's special status, had earlier this week said it would attend the PM's meeting.
Most leaders arrived in Delhi last evening
Most of the leaders invited for the meeting arrived in New Delhi last evening. Farooq Abdullah, however, will reach the capital this morning, Hindustan Times reported. The meeting will also be attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, and Jammu and Kashmir's Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha, according to reports.
Discussions to include delimitation, restoration of statehood
The discussions during the meeting will include the redrawing of constituencies ahead of the impending Assembly elections and the restoration of statehood, according to NDTV. J&K, a former Indian state, lost its autonomous status after the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 in 2019. It was then bifurcated into Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir, with a Legislative Assembly, and Ladakh, without one.
Leaders say they will push for restoration of special status
J&K leaders have said they will push for full statehood and the restoration of special status. "The biggest thing what has been taken away from us should be given back to us," said CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, also a spokesperson for the Gupkar alliance.
J&K Police issues alert in the UT
The J&K Police has issued an alert there ahead of today's meeting. Police warned that "anti-national" elements may attempt to "hit soft targets to create a hype." The statement came in view of a series of attacks in the Valley, including an attack on security forces personnel and the killing of a 25-year-old civilian who was shot dead by militants on Wednesday evening.