Barricades, info blockade, clashes continue in Kashmir

A security personnel stands guard in front of closed shops in Srinagar. AFP file photo

Authorities eased restrictions on the movement of the public in most parts of Kashmir on Saturday, a day after tensions ran high due to a reported call for a march towards local United Nations office, here, by separatists.

On Friday, strict restrictions returned after five days as security forces sealed all roads leading to the UN office in Sonwar, amid reports of possible march by the people. Even though the government eased restrictions on Saturday, deployment of additional security forces remained intact and barricades were in place in most parts of the Valley.

The communication clampdown, imposed on August 4 night continues to remain in force with mobile connectivity and internet services snapped. Reports of sporadic clashes between youth and security forces were received from several areas of Srinagar since Friday.

Authorities are tightlipped over the restoration of mobile and internet connectivity and for the second day in the last two weeks, the government didn’t brief media about the prevailing situation on Friday.

Health services in Kashmir hospitals have been affected severely with only emergency services operational. A doctor at SKIMS Srinagar, the Valley’s only territory-care hospital, told DH that most of the normal surgeries have been postponed. OPDs of hospitals remain empty. Hospitals are not encouraging the admission of patients who don't have emergencies.

As most of the petrol pumps in Srinagar remain closed, people have to face a lot of inconveniences to refuel their vehicles. There are reports of shortage of LPG cylinders and other essential commodities in the market.

Petition on Act adjourned

The state High Court has adjourned the petition challenging Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act 2019, till September 4. 

The petition filed by one Advocate Shmas Khawaja in Jammu wing of the High Court states that the legislation violates the constitutional paradigm in terms of procedure, substantive law and jurisprudence.

Justice Rajesh Kumar Bindal found that the petitioner had not placed the copy of the Reorganization Act, 2019 in the record following which it was considered to be defective and the court directed the Registry to list it for September 4.

The petition states that the legislation “violates the Article 3 of the Constitution of India, undermines the mandate inherent to Article 2 and sabotages the federal structure that is a salient feature and basic to the structure of the Constitution itself.

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