The Rajya Sabha (upper house of Indian Parliament), further eroding the Article 370, which accords a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, has passed amendments in the Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017, for applying it to occupied Kashmir.
According to media sources, the bill, empowering the Indian government to collect statistical data from occupied Kashmir, was passed by the Rajya Sabha even as various opposition parties said that the move was not proper in view of Article 370 of Indian Constitution that granted special status to the territory.
The decision comes within three weeks of the passage of the controversial Goods and Services Tax regime despite protests by opposition and traders in occupied Kashmir. Speaking on the issue, Leader of Opposition in the house, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said the BJP-led government in New Delhi should keep the sentiments of people of Jammu Kashmir in mind. He urged the Indian government to take the people of Kashmir into confidence first before passing the bill. Before the bill was passed, Congress member, Jairam Ramesh in his speech said that the bill would erode Article 370. The bill has already been passed by Lok Sabha in April this year.