J&K, Ladakh become Union Territories

The bifurcation of Jammu & Kashmir into two Union Territories came into effect at midnight Wednesday. Girish Chandra Murmu and Radha Krishna Mathur will be sworn in as Lieutenant Governors of J&K and Ladakh respectively at two separate ceremonies on Thursday. J&K Chief Justice Gita Mittal will administer the oath to Mr. Mathur at 7.15 a.m. in Leh district of Ladakh. Around 12.45 p.m., she will swear in Mr. Murmu in J&K’s summer capital Srinagar. A special plane has been kept ready in Leh to meet the deadlines of the two ceremonies. Multiple security layers have been finalised to ensure peaceful and smooth ceremonies. Ms. Mittal arrived in Leh on Wednesday, while the Lieutenant Governor-designates also reached their respective stations. It is not clear who will administer the oath to Ms. Mittal. Ms. Mittal herself took oath on the J&K constitution, when she assumed the office of the Chief Justice in 2018. Sources said no senior political dignitary will participate in these ceremonies, which will be a low-key affair. Around 298 invitations will be sent to local members of parliament, high court judges, heads of commissions and the heads of departments of the administration and the police. Incarcerated National Conference leader Dr. Farooq Abdullah and MP from Srinagar is also on the list of the invitees as per protocol. Sources said the tenure of the five advisers to Governor Satya Pal Malik, including K. Vijay Kumar, Khursheed Ganai, K. Sikandan, K.K. Sharma and Farooq Khan, will come to an end. They said Mr. Khan is tipped to continue as Adviser to the Lt. Governor, who is likely to constitute a political council to oversee the governance issues instead of a group of advisers. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) appointed senior IPS officer S.S. Bhandare as the first “head of police” of the Union Territory of Ladakh. Mr. Khandare is a 1995 batch officer of J&K cadre. Senior IAS officer Umang Narula of the 1989 batch has been appointed as adviser to R.K Mathur, new Liuetenant Governor of Ladakh, the MHA said. Sources said the IAS and the IPS officers, working in J&K, will continue to work there.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/jk-all-set-to-be-twin-uts-from-today/article29837088.ece

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