The Central government today filed a statement in the Supreme Court telling that the situation in Kashmir was approaching a stage where restrictions in the region may not be required.
The centre submitted that the "pre-emptive action" of imposing restrictions in the valley was in national interest, particularly to prevent any loss of life or property in the aftermath of the decision to revoke the special status of the State.
In this regard, the Secretary to the Government of Jammu & Kashmir, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, has come out with detailed notes on the government's stance in the matter.
"It is to the credit of the Government that these measures have succeeded in full, as not a single bullet has been fired till date and there has not been any loss of life on account of any police firing.
...The pre-emptive action this time has led to a controlled situation which has minimized loss of life and property despite constant instigation from across the border", it stated.
The report tries to justify the restrictions on media and communications and the imposition of curfew under Section 144 of the Cr.PC, as a ploy for ensuring minimal violation of law and order. It also added that these measures were only temporary and had been eased out in a phased manner, over the last few weeks.
"The Government, therefore, had to take the best possible steps in national interest for preventing any loss of life or property which would otherwise have been inevitable, if the restrictions which have been placed had not been implemented.
…The restrictions are only temporary in character, as the following facts will show that step by step and stage by stage there has been a relaxation in the restrictions", the report read.
It has been claimed in this report that restrictions under section 144 had been removed in 88.75% Police Stations in Kashmir and several steps had been taken to ensure smooth flow of information, including establishment of Media facilitation Centre and issuance of movement passes to media persons. It further submits that availability of necessary resources, including medical facilities, cash withdrawal, access to courts, etc. had also been ensured and that the District Magistrates, SPs and State Government were monitoring the situation on a daily basis.
The government also mentioned that resort to internet and communications blackout was nothing alien and cited the three-month internet shutdown in the valley in 2016 after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani.
Moreover, while the government's consistent stand has been that the former leaders of Kashmir had not been detained, the notes subtly fix the liability for threat to the law and order situation in the region on former leaders of the valley, Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, as it stated-
"When the decisions were taken by the Constitutional authorities on 05.08.2019 with regard to Article 370, it was clear that the persons who had been in power over long number of years in the State as well as the separatists, who's very commanding position would be jeopardised, and they would not hesitate to attempt to ensure that the Law and Order situation deteriorates".
Considerably, these leaders have been under house arrest since August 5, pursuant to abrogation of Article 370. In a recent development however, the Supreme Court issued notice on a Habeas Corpus petition filed by MDMK leader, Vaiko, for release of National Conference President, Farooq Abdullah.
The government also stated that the impugned measures were necessary in view of the violence prevalent in the valley on account of cross border terrorism and local militancy. It added,
"The terrorists from across border and local militants are encouraged by separatists and monies in huge amount being funded through hawala routes.
…[these monies are] used to pay the 'stone pelters' who are prepared to break the law in return for the payments made".
In view of the aforesaid, the Centre urged the Court to not review its policy decisions.
The Court on Monday told the Centre that every effort should be taken to restore normalcy in the region, keeping in mind the interests of national security and directed the Government to file an affidavit detailing the steps taken in that regard.
Click here to download statement