Article 370: Supreme Court rules out interference in Kashmir for now, says Centre must be given reasonable time to restore normalcy

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Updated: August 13, 2019 1:42:53 PM

Attorney General KK Venugopal informed the top court that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir was being monitored regularly and that the restrictions were in everyone's interest.

jammu and kashmir, article 370, supreme court,  Srinagar, shopinaEid-ul-Adha prayers concluded without any violence in the Valley, police said. (PTI photo)

Article 370 hearing in Supreme Court: The Supreme Court today refused to immediately interfere in the matter of restrictions imposed by the central government in wake of the abrogation of Article 370 providing special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and observed that the Centre must be given a reasonable amount of time to restore normalcy. The top court was hearing a petition filed by activist and Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla seeking withdrawal of curfew, blocking of phone lines, internet, news channels and other restrictions from Jammu and Kashmir.

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Observing that the petition lacked specifics, the Supreme Court asked the Centre on how long it expected the clampdown to continue. Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, informed the top court that the situation was being monitored regularly and that the restrictions were in everyone’s interest. “We are reviewing the day-to-day situation. 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,” ANI quoted the AG as saying in court.

The Supreme Court has posted the matter for hearing after two weeks. “We post the matter for hearing after two weeks and we will see what happens.”

The petition by Poonawalla is among a bunch of petition filed in the Supreme Court following the lifting of Article 370 provisions through a presidential order following a constitutional amendment. Opposition parties, the Congress, TMC and Left in particular, have come down hard on the clampdown imposed by the Centre in Kashmir Valley after prominent regional leaders were placed under preventive custody. There has been a clampdown on all communication services in wake of the Centre’s move and prohibitory orders have been in place in the state ever since to ensure peace in the restive region.

Former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, leaders of the NC and PDP respectively, have alleged they have been placed under house arrest and termed it as an attempt to muzzle the voice of Kashmir. The Centre has not reacted to the claims by these leaders but denied charges of detaining Farooq Abdullah, Omar’s father and former Jammu and Kashmir CM.

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