Tact, secrecy and precision: How Article 370 was abrogated without any hiccups
In addition to the security measures that were taken, the government also had to ensure that none got wind of the decision.
New Delhi, Aug 05: It has been three years since the Indian Government abrogated Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. On this day in 2019, the government also announced that Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh would be two separate Union Territories.
It was not an easy call for the government to take considering the tensions in the Valley. In addition to the security measures that were taken, the government also had to ensure that none got wind of the decision. When it was finally announced, it came as a surprise to all and even Pakistan did not have a wind of what had transpired in the background.
Prior to the announcement, an additional 10,000 troops were moved to the Valley and this had fuelled speculations about what was to come. The signals were confusing at that time. While on one hand the government had said that the number of terrorists had drastically come down in the Valley, on the other it was sending more troops to J&K. This led to speculation that India may go for war against Pakistan.
All this took place when the Amarnath Yatra was ongoing. There was more panic when an announcement regarding the cancellation of the Amarnath Yatra was made. The official word on the cancellation was that there was a threat to the Yatra.
Following this there was a directive to the Indian Army and Indian Air Force to remain on a state of high operational alert. Following this internet services were snapped and the landlines had stopped functioning in several parts of Srinagar. This ensured that the information flow was blocked.
To ensure that there was no violence in the Valley, scores of trouble makers including former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti were placed under house arrest. This led to plenty of speculation. Questions on whether there would be a war or would Article 35(A) be scrapped or would Article 370 be abrogated were being asked.
Stemming the information flow was key to a decision as big this to be taken. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is a master at this and this becomes extremely crucial to ensure that such a tough policy decision is taken with absolutely no hiccups. Back then before the announcement was made, sources had told OneIndia that the decision to scrap Article 370 was known only to the Prime Minister, Home Minister, the NSA, Intelligence Bureau chief and the three chiefs of the Army, Navy and Indian Air Force.