The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Centre to file a report on situation of public transport in Jammu and Kashmir since August 5, when the government had announced to revoke key provisions of Article 370 and bifurcate the state into two union territories (UTs). The top court asked the central government whether the buses and trucks were running in the state and is there any kind of ban on public transport in the region. The court has given the Modi government time till Thursday to file its report.
The court was hearing pleas against the communication lockdown in the Valley which is in effect for the last three months. A Supreme Court bench, comprising Justices NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy, and BR Gavai, was hearing the petitions.
The situation in the Valley has been tensed ever since the Narendra Modi government announced the big move. Although some restrictions have been lifted, the region continued to be under a communication lockdown with ban on internet, SMS services. Several groups have been demanding the restrictions be lifted.
The Centre, meanwhile, claims that everything was normal in the Kashmir and even facilitated a visit of far-right European Parliament members recently. According to some reports, to further ease the restrictions on communication, the Centre may soon lift ban on SMS services.
The ground realities in Kashmir can also be understood from the fact that except the BJP, not major political party took part in the recently held Block Development Council (BDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
Main regional parties Congress, National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) boycotted the polls owing to the clampdown in Kashmir. Almost all political leaders have either been arrested or put under house arrest including three former chief ministers.