The Supreme Court on Tuesday said restoration of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir cannot be accomplished overnight.The government, it said, needed “reasonable time” to guide the Valley back to peace without loss of lives.
“Who will be blamed if something happens,” the court retorted, when asked by petitioner-activist Tehseen Poonawalla to, at least, pass an order to restore essential services, such as hospitals, police stations and schools.“Nobody can take even a 1% chance,” a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, M.R. Shah and Ajay Rastogi observed.
The Bench agreed to wait and watch the goings-on in the Valley for a fortnight.Mr. Poonawalla cited “regressive measures” like curfew and information blackout being imposed in the Valley before and during the revocation of Article 370.Attorney General K.K.Venugopal said the decision to lift the curfew and restore communications, including telephone lines and Internet, finally rested with the government. Restrictions were being eased everyday. The ground situation was monitored on a daily basis.
Mr. Venugopal recalled how violence spiralled out of control in 2016 following the death of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen ‘commander’ Burhan Wani by security forces in Kashmir. He said the situation had taken months to reach normalcy. On the contrary, the present situation would be resolved in the next few days, but this again would be subject to several factors, he said.Senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy, for Mr. Poonawalla, opened her submissions by pointing to how even soldiers in Kashmir were unable to communicate back home due to the information blackout. “Imagine a Diwali in which you cannot call your mother,” she said.“Soldiers are also subject to discipline. They are not above anything. Why are you looking at soldiers? Can a system work in part,” Justice Shah asked.
Ms. Guruswamy said people were unable to reach hospitals.Justice Mishra said the situation was “very grave” and the restrictions were in place to prevent any law and order problem. “But how long will this continue,” Justice Mishra asked Mr. Venugopal.Mr. Venugopal assured the court that the government was committed to restoring normalcy.“It is in the interests of the State and the Centre that everything goes back to normalcy… We are ensuring preventive steps with least cause for inconvenience to the public,” he submitted
Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/sc-normality-not-possible-overnight/article29088707.ece