KL NEWS NETWORK
The Union Government on Friday told the Supreme Court that the “law and order situation” in Kashmir Valley has improved considerably since the killing of popular Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani with “protests having gone down from 201 on July 9 to 11 on August 3”.
The Union Government, in a status report filed before a bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said that “in view of the improving situation, curfew had been lifted from most parts of the Valley on July 30”.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, referring to the report, said the “curfew is in force only in certain areas of three districts in the Valley”.
“However, due to persistent efforts of the forces/Jammu and Kashmir Police, the situation has shown remarkable improvement, with the number of incidents declining progressively since the outbreak of violent protests and clashes. Compared to 201 incidents on July 9, 2016, only 11 incidents were witnessed as on August 3, 2016,” Kumar said, adding that a total of 872 “incidents of violence” were reported mainly from south Kashmir and parts of central and north Kashmir.
He said that in these 872 incidents, 42 civilians and two security personnel were killed, while 2656 civilians and 3783 security personnel were injured.
Kumar said that 28 government establishments were allegedly set ablaze and 49 such establishments were allegedly damaged and due to the violent incidents initially curfew was imposed in 10 districts out of 22 districts of the state.
He said incidents of violence started after Wani and two other militants were killed by the forces on July 8, leading to large-scale protests and “law and order” problems in different parts of the Valley.
“Inimical and anti-social elements exploited the news on social media platforms to inflame passions and incite sentiments. Public address systems of some of the local Masjids were used to raise to pro-freedom slogans and incite the youth to indulge in stone pelting/protests,” the report filed by the Ministry of Home Affairs said.
The apex court had earlier asked the Union Government to file a status report detailing “ground realities” prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir after Wani’s killing in the Valley by security agencies.
Prior to that, it issued notice to the Union Government on a PIL filed by senior advocate and Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) leader Bhim Singh seeking imposition of Governor’s rule in the state.
The report said, “Decision on imposing restrictions under section 144 CrPC and curfew are only being taken on the basis of ‘Chalo’ calls/marches to various towns/cities in the Valley being given by the separatist leaders/groups to the particular areas, not at Srinagar, the Valley in general.”
Kumar said healthcare facilities across the Valley have remained fully functional round the clock and government health institutions have continued to provide treatment to the injured persons.
He said 58 people underwent major eye surgeries and 240 people were treated for injuries on and around the eyes while 51 people were admitted in hospitals for eye injuries.
Regarding supply of vegetables and milk in the Valley during the period from July 8 and August 3, the status report said, “Vegetable Mandi has been functioning during night hours.”
“The Mandi receives vegetables from vegetables-growing areas from 11 PM to 3 AM and dispatch the same from 4 AM to 9 AM to various areas of Srinagar city. In this manner, the availability of vegetables has been restored,” the report said, adding that similarly packed milk is being supplied.
It said that to ensure uninterrupted flow of essential goods into the Valley, the vehicular movement on highways connecting the Valley is being ensured during night hours by making adequate deployment of forces.
The bench asked the petitioner to file his response on the report filed by the Union Government and posted the hearing on August 22.
The court had earlier asked the petitioner to not to make any “political overtones” during the proceedings.
The petitioner had said that due to the use of pellet guns by the security forces, people were becoming blind and there was a shortage of medicines and medical facilities available to the citizens.
The plea had said that Governor’s rule under section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir should be imposed and had sought a direction to the Governor to dissolve the Assembly “which has failed to discharge its duties and functions.”