TASS, August 16. The Indian Armed Forces deployed in the former state of Jammu and Kashmir have been put on high alert, the ANI news agency reported on Friday, citing official sources.
"All Indian Army, Air Force and security forces’ bases in Jammu and Kashmir asked to be on high alert against possible attempt by Pakistan-backed terrorist groups to carry out attacks in view of Pakistani efforts to create disturbances in the Kashmir valley," the agency quotes the sources as saying.
On Thursday, the Pakistani army reported that at least five Indian and three Pakistani soldiers were killed in a gunfire in the disputed region of Kashmir on the Line of Control, which splits the territory between the two countries. The Indian Armed Forces refuted the reports on its servicemen’s deaths, branding the claims as "fictitious".
The territory of the ancient princely state of Kashmir has been a subject to dispute between India and Pakistan since 1947, when British India gained independence and split into two states based on religion. Currently, the region does not have a state border, its territory is divided by the Line of Control. The Indian part of the territory sees many groups actively supporting cessation from India.
On August 5, the Indian government revealed its decision to abolish the state of Jammu and Kashmir and create two union territories (administrative units enjoying fewer powers than a state) instead. To this end, the Indian parliament voted to cancel Article 370 of the Constitution that granted Jammu and Kashmir its special status.
Jammu and Kashmir used to enjoy special autonomy in India. Before taking effect in its territory all laws passed by the central government (except for those concerning defense, external relations and some others) were to be approved by the local assembly. People from other states of India were prohibited from purchasing land plots there. Jammu and Kashmir had its own flag and a number of other privileges.