The central government told the Supreme Court on Friday that curfew had been lifted from most parts of the Kashmir Valley because of improvement in the law and order situation since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
In a status report filed before a bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, the Centre said that the number of violent protests has gone down from 201 on July 9 to 11 on August 3.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said due to persistent efforts of the security forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police, the curfew is in force only in certain areas of three districts in the Valley.
A total of 872 incidents of violence were reported mainly from south Kashmir and parts of central and north Kashmir, Kumar said, adding that 42 civilians and two security personnel were killed, while 2656 civilians and 3783 security personnel were injured.
He further said 28 government establishments were set ablaze and 49 were damaged, and due to such incidents curfew was initially imposed in 10 out of 22 districts of the state.
The violence started after Wani and two other militants were killed by the security forces on July 8, leading to large-scale protests and law and order problems in different parts of the Valley.
“Inimical and anti-social elements exploited the news on social media platforms to inflame passions and incite sentiments. Public address systems of some of the local mosques were used to raise to pro-freedom slogans and incite the youth to indulge in stone pelting/protests,” the home ministry report said.
The report came in response to direction of the SC asking the Centre to submit a status report detailing “ground realities” prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir after Wani’s killing.
The top court was hearing a petition filed in public interest by senior advocate and Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) leader Bhim Singh seeking imposition of Governor’s rule in the state.
The petitioner had said that due to the use of pellet guns by the security forces, people were becoming blind and there was a shortage of medicines and medical facilities available to the citizens.
The report said 58 people underwent major eye surgeries and 240 people were treated for injuries on and around the eyes, while 51 people were admitted in hospitals for eye injuries. Kumar further said government health institutions have continued to provide treatment to the injured persons.
The bench asked Singh to submit his response on Centre’s report and posted the hearing on August 22.