Complete normalcy in Kashmir, says Solicitor General in the Supreme Court
All is well in the Kashmir Valley, the Government informed the Supreme Court on Thursday. But no word when Indian Members of Parliament will be allowed free access
During hearing on a batch of petitions challenging the restrictions placed in the Kashmir Valley, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Government of India, informed the court that the bleak picture provided by the petitioners were misplaced, motivated and factually incorrect.
The Government, he argued, had done its duty, applied its mind, collected inputs and did what needed to be done. As many as 116 pro-people legislations were now applicable in Kashmir whereas they were not earlier. But no petitioner, he said, had ever approached the court for making the Right To Education applicable to the state. “ But they have approached the court for Internet Rights,” he declared.
The court was hearing a batch of petitions including the one filed by the editor of Kashmir Times, Anuradha Bhasin, seeking the court’s intervention to restore freedom and liberty of the people in Kashmir.
Painting a glowing picture of normalcy, the Solicitor General however claimed,
- 43 lakh kilolitres of petrol were sold. 11.59 lakh metric tonnes of apples have been sold. The situation has been so beautifully handled that even a farmer does not lose even a single penny.
- All newspapers are being published. Radio and TV broadcasts are aired from Srinagar. Only Anuradha Bhasin chose to not publish from Srinagar.
- Schools were never shut on August 5. From Sep 27, 100% of schools have reopened. It is misinformation that students are not attending schools
- Tourists are arriving regularly. Numbers may be less, but they are going
- The individual movement was not restricted, only public assembly.
- There is no Internet blockage. Over two lakh people have accessed the Net through kiosks. Internet provided in offices of all district commissioners. Net is available in hotels.
- If they (farmers) are unable to sell their apples, the government is purchasing them
- 99% of the examinees took the Board exam. 99.7% class 10/12 attending exams. People are cooperating.
- Petitioners do not represent the people. Seven lakh OPD patients have been treated in hospitals; shows nobody is confined to their houses
- I can show videos of hospitals, public places where normal life is going on. Everything is normal. I don't know why the petitioners are presenting such a grim picture...
- Petitioners claim 100% clampdown. This is not an en masse blockage. Was based on individual assessment of each local area. Restrictions were progressively relaxed even when there was threat perception but govt was confident about tackling it
- No mobile restrictions in seven districts on Aug 5. From Aug 14, all post-paid mobile connections were operative.
- By Sep 4, all landlines were restored
- POCSO, anti-child marriage and domestic violence laws are now applicable in J&K. Rights have been conferred, and not taken away
- Safai Karamcharis will get full citizenship in J&K. STs will get political representations. Tribals will be protected. End of gender discrimination. Property of women marrying outside the State will be protected
- Panchayat Raj polls have been conducted. Since August 5, decentralisation of power has taken place. Constitutional status has been given to local self-governance. Panchayats will get direct funding and people will decide their own development.
(Based on Tweeter feed from the court)