New governor appointed in Jammu and Kashmir

The Indian government on Tuesday announced that Satya Pal Malik had been appointed new governor of Jammu and Kashmir.

Malik replaces NN Vohra who was the longest serving Indian governor in Jammu and Kashmir, having held the post since 2008.

The region has been under the governor's rule since June 20 after the Hindu right wing Bharatiya Janata Party pulled out from the coalition government it formed with the Peoples Democratic Party.

This brings the only Muslim-majority state under the direct rule of India's central government.

Malik's appointment comes after a series of news reports suggesting that the Indian government in New Delhi and Governor Vohra had differences about a measure defining land ownership rights in the region as well as about the formation of a new government inJammu and Kashmir.

Malik was governor of the northern state of Bihar.

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.

Also, in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.

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.

Source: Anadolu Agency