Centre Tells SC: Restrictions In J-K ‘Temporary Measure’
The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 are a “temporary measure” and was done keeping in mind the safety and security of people.
“The entire situation [in Jammu and Kashmir] has been handled in a very beautiful manner. It is a temporary measure which was imposed and done in the interest of safety and security of all,” Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, told a bench headed by Justice N V Ramana.
While justifying certain restrictions imposed in the region, Mehta said that authorities had applied their minds in imposing or lifting the curbs.
He said that the Centre did not curtail the right of the citizens but at the same time also ensured that the sovereignty and integrity of the nation are not in jeopardy.
“Normalcy has been restored and yet, we did not lose a single life in police firing,” Mehta added.
Almost ten lakh people have accessed the internet, he said, thereby, refuting the allegations levelled by the petitioners regarding the imposition of ban on its usage.
Mehta further contended that only landlines and public assembly were prohibited and not individual freedom.
“Landlines were periodically restored in Jammu and Kashmir. 100 per cent mobile connections have been restored there by September 29,” he added.
In August, the central government had scrapped Article 370 and bifurcate the erstwhile state into two UTs — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Following this, phone lines and the internet were blocked in the region.
Normalcy is gradually returning to Jammu and Kashmir as mobile and landline services have been restored in both UTs and restrictions under Section 144 on movement withdrawn or relaxed.