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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

Produce orders on detention of leaders, curbs in Kashmir: Supreme Court tells govt

The top court said that if the government does not respond then it would not force it to do so and proceed with the hearing.

india Updated: Oct 16, 2019 12:27 IST
Ashok Bagriya
Ashok Bagriya
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Security personnel on guard during shutdown in Srinagar on September 29, 2019.
Security personnel on guard during shutdown in Srinagar on September 29, 2019. (PTI)
         

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to produce detention and other orders under which communication was blocked in the Kashmir Valley.

The top court said that if the government does not respond then it would not force it to do so and proceed with the hearing.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the Jammu and Kashmir administration. He told the Supreme Court that the administrative orders on the restrictions will be placed for it. “Only the court can look into it and not the petitioners,” Mehta told the bench headed by Justice N V Ramana.

The apex court’s poser to the government came a day after the police detained women activists, including the sister and daughter of former chief minister Farooq Abdullah, during a march in Srinagar. The women were protesting the withdrawal of special status to Jammu and Kashmir and splitting the state into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah, and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti along with some other Kashmiri leaders have been in detention since August.

The Centre, in phases, has been easing curbs put in place in J&K since the August 5 decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution.

On October 14, mobile phone services for post-paid subscribers resumed in Kashmir after 72 days but without any internet facilities. However, by about 5 pm that day, SMS services were stopped as a “precautionary measure”. Over 25 lakh prepaid mobile phones and other internet services, including WhatsApp, remain deactivated for now, officials said.

Governor Satya Pal Malik said on Monday that internet services would be resumed very soon, but officials in the security establishment maintained the process might take up to two months. A decision on pre-paid subscribers could be taken next month, they said.

Earlier this month, the J&K administration opened the Kashmir for tourists, more than two months after it cancelled the Amarnath Yatra and issued an advisory asking pilgrims and tourists to leave the Valley due to “terror threat”.

The Abdullahs were allowed to meet party delegations in Srinagar on October 6.

The administration has also opened up schools and institutions of higher education and decided to hold Block Development Council elections on October 24, the first electoral process in Jammu and Kashmir since August 5.