India plans massive hiring government drive in Kashmir

An elderly Kashmiri man selling sandals walks through a closed market in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. India's government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, imposed a security lockdown and communications blackout in Muslim-majority Kashmir to avoid a violent reaction to the Aug. 5 decision to downgrade the region's autonomy. The restrictions have been eased slowly, with some businesses reopening, some landline phone service restored and some grade schools holding classes again, though student and teacher attendance has been sparse. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)
An elderly Kashmiri man sells cheese at a closed market in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. India's government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, imposed a security lockdown and communications blackout in Muslim-majority Kashmir to avoid a violent reaction to the Aug. 5 decision to downgrade the region's autonomy. The restrictions have been eased slowly, with some businesses reopening, some landline phone service restored and some grade schools holding classes again, though student and teacher attendance has been sparse. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)
Snacks are displayed for sale by the window of a residential building as shops remain closed in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. India's government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, imposed a security lockdown and communications blackout in Muslim-majority Kashmir to avoid a violent reaction to the Aug. 5 decision to downgrade the region's autonomy. The restrictions have been eased slowly, with some businesses reopening, some landline phone service restored and some grade schools holding classes again, though student and teacher attendance has been sparse. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

NEW DELHI — Indian authorities said they plan to hire tens of thousands of government workers in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir after stripping the region of its decadeslong special status.

New Delhi-appointed Gov. Satya Pal Malik says officials planning to fill up "50,000 vacancies in various government departments in the next few months."

At a press conference Wednesday, Malik also announced a plan to help apple farmers. Indian authorities believe it will expand the region's economy.

Indian officials have characterized their surprise move to strip Kashmir's special constitutional status as a way to boost its economic potential. It comes as India has seen a slowdown in its economy.

Many people in Kashmir believe the loss of special status has nothing to do with the economy and see it as a form of aggression from the Indian government.

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