Jammu and Kashmir is no longer a state with effect from October 31 as it has been split into two union territories (UTs), Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the Union Home Ministry, on Saturday, issued a notice designating the new boundaries of the two UTs. With this, a whole new political map of India has been implemented that shows the areas previously labelled as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as part of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the notice, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will constitute all districts of the former state except Kargil and Leh, which will form the Union Territory of Ladakh.
Girish Chandra Murmu, on Thursday, took oath as the first Lt Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The oath was administered by Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Gita Mittal. Murmu has replaced Satya Pal Malik who has been transferred to and appointed as the Governor of Goa.
Retired bureaucrat of Tripura cadre Radha Krishna Mathur was sworn-in as the first Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Ladakh. A former defence secretary, Mathur was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Gita Mittal at a function held at Sindhu Sanskriti auditorium at Tisuru.
Senior Advocate DC Raina was appointed as the first Advocate General of the newly created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday. A notification was issued by the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs in this regard.
“In exercise of powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 79 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019, the Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is pleased to appoint DC Raina, Senior Advocate, as Advocate General for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” the notification said.
The notification also mentioned about the remuneration and other provisions of the Advocate General. It said that the headquarters of Advocate General is going to be the same as the headquarters of the high court, otherwise directed by the government.
Jammu and Kashmir has been under the Governor’s rule since 19 June 2018 when the PDP-BJP coalition government fell as the latter withdrew support to the Mehbooba Mufti-led alliance regime. The then Governor NN Vohra, while imposing Governor’s rule, did not dissolve the Assembly. Satya Pal Malik had been in-charge of the Jammu and Kashmir administration since he took over as governor two months later.
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.
It is to be noted that the government has said that Jammu and Kashmir will not stay a Union Territory and its statehood will be restored at an “appropriate time” after “normalcy” returns.