‘Centre needs time to bring back normalcy in Kashmir’, observes SC on plea against restrictions

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New Delhi, August 13: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the Central government required time to bring back normalcy in the Kashmir Valley as nothing can be done overnight.
The apex court was hearing on a petition filed Tehseen Poonawalla seeking withdrawal of curfew, blocking of phone lines, internet, news channels and other restrictions from Jammu and Kashmir.
An apex court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra made the observation when the Central government informed the court that it was doing everything necessary to maintain law and order in Jammu and Kashmir.
On being asked how long will the restrictions continue in the Valley, Attorney General KK Venugopal said the Government was reviewing the day-to-day situation in Jammu and Kashmir and was committed to ensuring least human rights violations.
“It’s a highly sensitive situation; it’s in the interest of everyone. Not a single drop of blood has been shed, no one died,” Venugopal told the court.
Following this, the Supreme Court deferred after two weeks the hearing on the petition.
The court stressed that it was a “serious issue” and said that it would not interfere right now in the situation and let the government continue with its efforts to maintain law and order in the Valley.
The Supreme Court had last week refused an urgent hearing on a plea filed seeking withdrawal of restrictions in the state of Jammu and Kashmir since August 4 in connection with the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories.
The petition alleged that the state was witnessing undeclared curfew/restrictions, arbitrary arrests, shutdown of phone services and snapping of internet and blocking of cable TV having news channels.
This amounts to suspension of Article 19 and 21 of the Constitution, Poonawalla contended.
The plea had also sought the “immediate release of political leaders from illegal custody”.
The Parliament on Tuesday approved a resolution to abrogate special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and pass a bill to split the state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Prior to that, a massive security build-up was witnessed in the valley with over 8000 additional paramilitary troops being airlifted to the state.
All educational institutions were closed till further orders and all Kashmir University exams were postponed without specifying the next date. Mobile internet services were also snapped. (Courtesy: TS)