Govt needs more time to bring normalcy in Kashmir: SC

The situation in Jammu and Kashmir is “very sensitive” and reasonable time should be given to the government to ensure normalcy there, the apex court said on Tuesday while refusing to pass any immediate order to the Centre to lift restrictions on the region imposed after the abrogation of Article 370.

The apex court also said it is to be ensured that no life was lost there and posted the matter after two weeks, saying it will wait for normalcy to return. A three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra was hearing the petition filed by Congress activist Tehseen Poonawalla on the Centre’s decision to impose restrictions and “other regressive measures” in Jammu and Kashmir following the revocation of the provisions of Article 370.

The Centre told the bench that they are reviewing the situation in the region on a day-to-day basis, taking reports from respective district magistrates and relaxations are being ordered accordingly. “We have to ensure that law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir is maintained,” Attorney General K K Venugopal told the bench.

He referred to the July 2016 agitation in Kashmir after the encounter of terrorist Burhan Wani and said it took around three months to bring normalcy at that time. He said that since 1990, 44,000 people have been killed by extremists and people from across the border have been guiding and giving instructions to them. He said in the present situation, it will take a few days to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.

Venugopal said that not a single death has been reported since last Monday after the restrictions were imposed. The AG was responding to the bench which asked about the steps taken by the authorities for bringing normalcy and restoring basic facilities in the region.

During the hearing, the bench said, “The situation is such that nobody knows what exactly is happening there. Some time should be given for bringing normalcy. They are analysing the situation on a day-to-day basis. The government’s endeavour is to restore normalcy. That is why they are reviewing the situation on a day-to-to basis. If tomorrow anything happens in Jammu and Kashmir, who will be responsible? Obviously the Centre.”

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