Today's Paper

LGs take charge in J&K, Ladakh

Girish Chandra Murmu being sworn in as the first Lieutenant Governor of Jammu & Kashmir.PTI-

Girish Chandra Murmu being sworn in as the first Lieutenant Governor of Jammu & Kashmir.PTI-  

Valley sees complete shutdown

Jammu & Kashmir became the first State of the Indian Union to be reduced to a Union Territory (UT), with former IAS officer Girish Murmu being sworn in as its first Lieutenant Governor (LG) on Thursday. Bifurcated from the former State, Ladakh also became a UT, with former civil servant R.K. Mathur taking over as its LG in Leh.

The Kashmir Valley saw a complete shutdown as Mr. Murmu, a Gujarat cadre IAS officer handpicked by the Centre, became the executive authority of the UT, which will now be directly administered by the Union Home Ministry.

The Indian Union now has 28 States and nine UTs. Former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti continue to be under detention from August 4, a day before the Rajya Sabha voted to end special status to J&K.

Hours before the swearing-in ceremony at the Raj Bhavan on the outskirts of Srinagar, this correspondent saw all roads leading to it being sealed off by security forces. There was heavy security in the area.

All shops and business establishments downed their shutters. In earlier weeks, shops were open in the morning and downed shutters by 10 a.m. But on Thursday, all of them were closed.

(With inputs from

Peerzada Ashiq)

Former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti continue to be under detention from August 4, a day before the Rajya Sabha voted to end special status to J&K.

Hours before the swearing-in ceremony at the Raj Bhavan on the outskirts of Srinagar, this correspondent saw all roads leading to it being sealed off by security forces. There was heavy security in the area.

All shops and business establishments downed their shutters. In earlier weeks, shops were open in the morning and downed shutters by 10 a.m. But on Thursday, all of them were closed.

Residents of the Valley continue to have no access to both fixed-line and mobile Internet services, which were snapped on the midnight of August 4.

Anger on the streets

There was palpable anger on the streets. A bunch of people told this correspondent on Residency Road that ending the special status was an “act of betrayal” by the BJP government.

“No bandh call has been given by separatists or militants, but people have spontaneously downed shutters in protest against the ending of our special status. It is the people who have taken over as leaders of this movement,” one shopkeeper said.

“How can we believe full statehood will be restored when so many promises made on autonomy have not been honoured,” asked another.

While the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir will have a 114-member elected Assembly, up from 107 earlier, and a Chief Minister, the Union Territory of Ladakh will be controlled directly by the Lieutenant Governor.

Recommended for you