A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court heard two petitions on the recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir. One was a petition by ML Sharma challenging the Presidential order on Article 370 and another petition was moved by Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of the Kashmir Times, seeking lifting of media restrictions and communication services and movement in Kashmir. The petitions were heard by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice SA Bobde and SG Tushar Mehta.
Upon going through the petition for a while, the CJI pulled up defective petitions during hearing Supreme Court today. Questioning petitioner ML Sharma on his petition against Centre’s move on Art 370, the CJI said that his petition has “no meaning”. “What kind of a petition is this? Your petition isn’t even maintainable. We could have dismissed it but this would affect other petitions as well.”, castigated the CJI. The CJI said he spent 30 minutes reading the petition, but could not understand it. It added that five other petitions challenging the Centre’s move were also defective and directed the lawyers to cure the defects.
Responding to the plea by Kashmir Times Exec Editor Anuradha Bhasin on media restrictions in the Valley, Justice SA Bobde said that landlines are working and he was able to speak to the chief justice of J&K High Court today morning. SG Tushar Mehta then said, ” Trust your security agencies. We are working with the best intention.” The supreme court further said it would give more time to the Centre to lift the restrictions after the government said the situation is improving day by day.
Hearing on the petitions will continue next week say sources in SC. Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir administration could ask schools and colleges to open from Monday given that not major untoward incidents have been reported in Kashmir and elsewhere. News agency PTI has reported that government secretariat and other offices will start functioning from Friday while easing of public curbs would depend on day’s development after the ‘namaaz’, a Raj Bhawan spokesperson said on Thursday.
Residents of POK demand independence from Pakistan
August 14th marks the formation day of Pakistan. As most of its leaders including PM Imran Khan spent the day in rhetoric, selling the Kashmir apple and abusing PM Modi, they seem to have forgotten that residents of Pakistan Occupied Areas are demanding freedom from them and their rule. Though the demand is old, Pakistan has regularly blackout protests against the Pakistani state and forces due to which most protests do not come out in the open.
In a video that has surfaced yesterday, a large gathering of people can be heard shouting slogans against Pakistan and demanding independence from it. They have termed Pakistan as an illegal occupier and demand that they exit the region. Slogans like “Kashmir hamara chod do” can be heard in the video.
However, this is not the first time that people of Pak occupied areas are demanding freedom from Pakistan. Earlier this year, slogans were by protestors in Muzzaffarabad had raised demanding Pakistan Army to leave Kashmir and stop construction of dams in POK.
In 2018, massive anti-Pakistan protests had erupted in Muzaffarabad city and other parts of POK where the protestors demanded that Pakistan stop exploiting natural resources in the occupied region. The protestors said that Pakistan is forcing the local residents to leave their homes and lands for many projects. The also charged that the Pak government was bypassing all environmental conditions and other pre-requisites they are obliged to commit to.