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J&K bifurcation: RK Mathur takes oath as first L-G of Union Territory of Ladakh

By Vishal S

Srinagar, Oct 31: Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Geeta Mittal on Thursday administered the oath of office to Radha Krishna Mathur as the first Lt Governor of Union Territory of Ladakh.

With the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, the number of states in India has come down to 28 and the number of Union Territories has gone up to nine.

Radha Krishna Mathur takes oath as the first Lt Governor of Ladakh

Around three months after the central government scrapped Jammu and Kashmir's decades-old special status under Article 370, the state has officially been split into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh - from midnight.

The Modi government had on August 5 abrogated provisions of Article 370 that granted a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The creation of the UTs of J&K and Ladakh coincides with the birth anniversary of country's first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who is credited with the merger of over 560 princely states into the Union of India.

[Scrapping of Article 370 was for unity of India: Modi][Scrapping of Article 370 was for unity of India: Modi]

According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the appointed day for the two UTs is October 31 and these will come into existence at midnight (Wednesday-Thursday), nearly three months after the announcement in Rajya Sabha. A day before the creation of the Ladakh UT, the Centre appointed senior IAS officer Umang Narula advisor to the Lt Governor of the Himalayan region and an Inspector General of Police "head of police".

This is for the first time that a state is converted into two UTs even though there are numerous examples of a UT becoming a full state or a state carved up into two states.

The Centre had, on August 5, announced abrogation of the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcation of the state into Union territories, which will come into being on October 31.

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