India-administered Kashmir remained on a security
lockdown and communication blackout on Tuesday as India's lower house
of parliament was due to approve a resolution and bill that revokes
the disputed region's special status.
Members of the lower house, or Lok Sabha, were debating the "Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill" a day after the legislation was introduced alongside a presidential decree revoking Article 370 of India's Constitution, which for decades had conferred special status to the state and given it significant autonomy.
The upper house of parliament or Rajya Sabha approved the bill by a 125-61 margin on Monday, with several opposition lawmakers breaking ranks to vote with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The motions were expected to pass easily in the Lok Sabha, where the Hindu nationalist BJP has a clear majority.
The reorganization bill downgrades the region from a state into two federally administered territories: Jammu and Kashmir as well as Ladakh. Jammu and Kashmir would still have its own legislature, while Ladakh would not.
India has sent tens of thousands of troops to Kashmir, keeping it under a tight lockdown and suspending phone lines and the internet to prevent protests and violence over the new measures, which are deeply unpopular in the Muslim-majority region.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and senior officials were visiting the region Tuesday to oversee security, media reports said.
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