India’s Hindu-nationalist government on Monday revoked Kashmir’s special autonomy status under the constitution, sparking fears of increased bloodshed in the region contested by nuclear rival Pakistan. Here is a timeline of major political and armed conflicts in the disputed Himalayan region where more than 70,000 people have been killed.
Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan are created after obtaining independence from British colonial rule.
The former Himalayan kingdom of Kashmir is divided between the two nations, and they almost immediately go to war for total control of the territory.
A UN-backed ceasefire line agreed upon by the two nations in July 1949 becomes a de facto frontier which still remains today.
Jammu and Kashmir prime minister Sheikh Abdullah is dismissed and imprisoned by New Delhi for almost 11 years over his support of the region’s independence. He eventually returns to power in 1975 to become the state’s first chief minister after partition.
The constitution of Jammu and Kashmir comes into force, and gives the state a special position in India’s union.
Pakistan launches a war against India for control of Kashmir. It ends inconclusively after a ceasefire brokered by the then Soviet Union.
A new India-Pakistan war leads to the splitting away of East Pakistan, which becomes the independent state of Bangladesh. Following the conflict, the two nations sign the Simla Agreement and the ceasefire line becomes known as the Line of Control.
Maqbool Bhat, the founder of a leading political separatist group the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), is hanged in a New Delhi jail for murdering an intelligence officer.
A Muslim uprising breaks out against Indian rule in Indian Kashmir, inflaming tensions with Pakistan. New Delhi imposes direct rule.
Tens of thousands of Kashmiri Hindus – known as Pandits – flee to Hindu-dominated areas of the disputed region and other parts of India in the wake of an armed insurgency.
State assembly elections are held for the first time in seven years, but the contentious poll is marred by allegations of coercion by New Delhi.
It followed elections in 1987 that were marred by graft and foreshadowed an armed rebellion against Indian rule.
Infiltrators from Pakistan raid Indian Kashmir’s Kargil sector, sparking a six-week conflict leading to the deaths of 1,000 combatants on both sides. The battle ends under US pressure.
The two nations agree to the 1999 Lahore declaration that called for a negotiated settlement of all issues, including Kashmir.
A summit between the Indian PM and Pakistani President in the northern India city of Agra collapses over the issue of Kashmir.
A new series of attacks in 2001 and 2002 leads to a new mobilization of Indian and Pakistani troops at the de-facto border.
In November 2003 Pakistan declares a unilateral ceasefire along the Line of Control, leading to an inconclusive peace process the following year.
The state government plans to hand over a plot of land to a trust managing an annual pilgrimage, sparking separatist claims of a Hindu takeover and anti-India protests. The transfer is later rescinded.
A bloody uprising over the death of three civilians sees more than a hundred killed in street protests.
The killing of a popular rebel leader sparks months of street protests that leave more than a hundred dead.
Later in the year, an assault on an army base in Kashmir near to the border kills 18 soldiers, in what is the worst rebel attack in the region for 15 years.
India claims its special commandos carried out a series of lightning strikes along the border with Pakistan in Kashmir, a claim Pakistan dismissed.
New Delhi vows retaliation after at least 40 paramilitaries are killed in a suicide attack in Indian Kashmir, which it blames on a Pakistan-based militant group.
The attack prompts tit-for-tat air strikes between the two nuclear-armed nations, taking them to the brink of war. Pakistan put an end to the issue by shooting down two Indian jets that had entered Pakistan’s airspace in Kashmir, and capturing an Indian pilot in the process. The Indian pilot, Abhinandan Varthaman, was allowed safe access back to India via the Wagah border after 2 days of being detained.
On August 5, the Indian government revokes Kashmir’s special status, stripping it of the significant autonomy it has enjoyed for seven decades.
AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk