Tensions in the disputed Kashmir region rose yesterday over the weekend deployment of at least 10,000 Indian paramilitary troops to the troubled region despite authorities' assertions the move was routine. India maintains a deployment of 500,000 soldiers in the Muslim-majority Himalayan region, which has been divided between the South Asian nation and Pakistan since 1947.
The region has seen a resurgence of hostilities in recent years, while locals are fearful about the loss of special privileges after India's Supreme Court last year began hearing a case challenging a constitutional provision. Local people told Agence France-Presse (AFP) they were worried that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government wanted to set aside a constitutional provision, Article 35A, which would allow Indians from outside the disputed territory to buy land there.
The dispute over Kashmir is one of the oldest on the agenda of the U.N. Security Council, along with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The region, which is split between the two countries, but claimed by each in its entirety, has been the cause of two wars between the neighbors since they were partitioned in 1947. In February, Indian and Pakistani fighter planes engaged in tit-for-tat air raids over the disputed region of Kashmir, in a dramatic escalation of tensions.