SC asks Centre for report on ‘ground realities’ in J-K as protests continue
The Supreme Court on Friday sought a status report from the Centre on the “ground realities” in Jammu and Kashmir as protests continued for a 23rd day following the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani.
The Chief Justice of India, TS Thakur, asked the solicitor general Ranjit Kumar to file the report in response to a petition filed by Bhim Singh, leader of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP), seeking governor’s rule in the state.
The bench, however, did not issue notice on the petition and cautioned Singh against taking “political mileage” out of the court proceedings.
“Make sure, you make no political overtones in this proceeding or we will come down heavily on you if we come to know that you are taking political mileage…,” the bench said.
The situation in the Valley was “different” and kept changing on an “hourly” or a “daily” basis, said the bench which had earlier wondered if it could command the Governor to take over the administration.
Close to 50 people, including two policemen, have died so far in the protests that erupted on July 8, immediately after Wani’s death. More 2,000 people were also injured in the violence that saw political opponents corner the ruling BJP-PDP coalition.
In his petition, Singh contended that governor’s rule under section 92 of the Constitution should be imposed in Jammu and Kashmir. He had requested that assembly be dissolved for failing “to discharge its duties and functions”.
“There is literally rule of the gun and the people in the Valley have no access to even water taps or to medical stores. The people in J&K have been forced to stay inside their homes without food, medicines or other essential commodities needed for human survival,” he stated.
The petition alleged the State government had virtually imposed “martial law in the Kashmir valley for the past two weeks resulting in demolition of all fundamental rights of the Indian citizens being residents of the State in the entire saffron painted valley of Kashmir”.
Singh further argued due to the use of pellet guns, people were being blinded due to improper medical facilities.
However, the court challenged Singh on several grounds.
“Bring us one person who is unable to go to the hospital due to the prevailing condition. Bring before us one such person who has specific grievance. For one whole year, you have not visited Kashmir and you are coming to the court,” it commented.
Earlier, the court had agreed to hear the plea seeking imposition of governor’s rule in the state on account of prevailing law and order situation there.