1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
Clashes in Indian Kashmir
Image: picture-alliance/Zumapress/F. Khan
Politics

Indian Kashmir government collapses

June 19, 2018

India's ruling party has pulled out of a coalition that runs the disputed Kashmir region due to worsening "terrorism and violence." Analysts say the move is a ploy to help the party win national elections next year.

https://p.dw.com/p/2zsVi

India's governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) quit the ruling coalition in Jammu and Kashmir state on Tuesday, citing a worsening security situation in the disputed Himalayan region.

The BJP, which had allied with the regional People's Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015 to rule India's only Muslim-majority state, urged a federal response to the increasing terrorism and violence in a territory that is also claimed by neighboring Pakistan.

Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav told reporters in New Delhi that the alliance had become "untenable."

Read more: Security clampdown, strike paralyze Kashmir after fierce clashes

First-ever UN human rights report on Kashmir

Rising radicalization 

He added that the state government had failed to curb radicalization or guarantee civilian rights in the volatile territory.

"Keeping in mind the larger national interest ... it is time the reins of power in the state be handed over to the governor," or direct rule from New Delhi, Madhav said.

Hours later, state chief minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti submitted her resignation.

There was uncertainty over whether the collapse would mean a return to federal rule, or whether the state's governor would take over until fresh elections are held or a new coalition is cobbled together.

The BJP — a Hindu nationalist party more popular in the south of the state — had 25 lawmakers, while the PDP had 28 in the state assembly, where the majority mark is 45.

The PDP is seen as a party sympathetic to separatist groups, and has long demanded the removal of a draconian law that gives Indian forces sweeping powers to search, enter property and shoot on sight.

Read more: What is Pakistan's militancy issue all about?

BJP backpedaling

Tuesday's move is widely seen as the BJP backpedaling over its involvement in the troubled state, which has been wracked by conflict for decades.

The decision allows the party to act tough on Kashmir before a general election next year in which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will seek a second term in office, analysts said.

Modi won power in 2014, having vowed to end the insurgency, but militant violence has worsened in recent months. This year alone, more than 130 people have been killed.

Last week, gunmen shot dead a prominent newspaper editor in the state capital, Srinagar, who had been a strong advocate of peace in the region.

Read more: Shujaat Bukhari: Flashpoint Kashmir and a fearless journalist's murder

Killing of Kashmir journalist shocks India, Pakistan

Intractable dispute

The Himalayan region of Kashmir is divided into two parts, one administered by India and other by Pakistan. The two nuclear neighbors claim the region in its entirety, and have fought two wars over the disputed territory since independence from Britain in 1947.

A violent secessionist insurgency in the Indian-administered region has left more than 44,000 people dead since the late 1980s.

India blames Pakistan for fomenting the rebellion, but the Islamabad government says it only provides moral support to the insurgency.

Last week, India rejected a United Nations report accusing it having used excessive force in to kill and wound civilians in Kashmir since 2016. The UN also called for an international inquiry into accusations of rights violations.

mm/aw (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

Skip next section Explore more
Skip next section Related topics

Related topics

Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

US Patriot missile defense batteries newly installed at the Rzeszow airport located near the Poland-Ukraine border in Rzeszow, Poland

Ukraine calls for air defense help, NATO vows not to waver

Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage