The Indian government has revoked the special status of India-administered Kashmir, in a move that risks fuelling already heightened tensions with neighbouring Pakistan.
Monday’s presidential decree revokes Article 370 of India’s constitution that guaranteed special rights to the Muslim-majority state, including its right to its own constitution and decision-making process for all matters except defence, communications and foreign affairs.
Thousands of workers from north Indian states have left India-administered Kashmir over the last three days following an unprecedented lockdown of the Himalayan valley.
In the lead-up to its move, India sent thousands of additional troops to the region, imposing a curfew on parts of it, shutting down telecommunications and arresting political leaders.
Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in full, but rule it in part. The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought two of their three wars over the disputed territory.
The United Nations has urge the two countries to exercise restraint.