Germany urged the Indian government on Monday to hold dialogue with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and comply with the Constitution, as tensions rose over a move to scrap the special status of the region.
Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr said Germany was closely following developments in the region.
“We believe that all further steps of the government must comply with India’s Constitution,” she said, and urged the government to respect civil rights secured by the law.
“We are calling on the Indian government to hold dialogue with the population concerned about its plans, its intentions,” Adebahr added.
India on Monday scrapped the special status granted to the country’s only Muslim-majority state which allowed it autonomy in exchange of joining the Indian union after independence in 1947.
The provision allowed Jammu and Kashmir to enact its own laws and disallowed outsiders to settle and own land in the territory.
The Himalayan region is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.
Since they were partitioned, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.
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