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Year-end review: Pulwama, Article 370, CAA kept MHA busy

NEW DELHI: This year proved to a busy one for the ministry of home affairs as it had to contain the aftermath of abrogation of provisions of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act and terror attack in Pulwama. The year also saw BJP president Amit Shah assuming charge of the crucial ministry and taking a few tough decisions that rocked the country.

Just two months after the Narendra Modi government assumed office for the second consecutive term, Shah on August 5 announced in Rajya Sabha the decision to end the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories.

Thus ended one of the most contentious provisions of the Constitution that had allowed a separate flag, a Constitution to Jammu and Kashmir for seven decades. Before this announcement, there was a massive deployment of troops in the Kashmir Valley, a complete clampdown on communication links and detention of hundreds of people, including three former chief ministers — Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.

While landline phones and mobile networks were restored after several weeks, internet services still continue to be suspended. The contentious legislation, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), piloted by the MHA under Shah, got the approval of Parliament in the recently concluded winter session. But CAA evoked strong protests in different parts of the country for its alleged discriminatory provisions, leading to the death of nearly two dozen people during these demonstrations. On February 14, Jammu and Kashmir witnessed one of the worst terror attacks — blowing up of a CRPF bus by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammd — killing 40 jawans. India retaliated by bombing terror camps at Balakot on February 26. The ministry was also busy keeping a close eye on the security situation in the country following the pronouncement of the verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue.

Source: Economic Times