The Kashmir valley observed a shut down a day after the Centre said that everything was normal in the Union Territory.
Markets which open for a few hours in the morning remained closed on Thursday. Public transport which had resumed since a week remained off roads too.
Schools which had reopened for the new session remained closed as well. Even street vendors kept away from usually busy flea markets.
“Everybody (in Kashmir) feels dejected but they haven’t been able to give vent to their feelings in any form. So, you cannot describe this deceptive peace on the ground as normalcy,” as told by a senior official in the administration.
The Indian authorities are likely to re-impose strict restrictions, today, in the Kashmir Valley to prevent people from holding anti-India demonstrations after Friday prayers.
The authorities have not allowed the people to hold congregational Juma prayers at any of the major mosques and shrines of the territory since Aug 05, 2019.
On the other hand, the UK lawyers’ body in a letter addressed to the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, while raising concerns about the detentions in occupied Kashmir said that it had come across multiple reports claiming that over 3,000 civilians, including high ranking legal professionals, had been detained since abrogation of Article 370. The letter has been signed by Richard Atkins, Queen’s Counsel, Chair of the Bar and Schona Jolly, Queen’s Counsel, Chair of the Bar Committee.
Pakistan has once again urged India to immediately restore internet and phone services and release all the prisoners in occupied Kashmir as the lockdown in the valley entered its third month.
“India should allow international media and human rights observers to visit occupied Kashmir to independently observe the situation there,” Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said during his weekly briefing on Thursday.
Meanwhile, The Supreme Court told the Jammu and Kashmir administration that it will have to respond to each and every question raised on the restrictions imposed in the erstwhile state after the abrogation of Article 370.
A bench headed by Justice NV Ramana told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the administration, that petitioners challenging the restrictions have argued in detail and he will have to answer all questions.
Mehta said most of the averments made by the petitioners on restrictions are “incorrect” and he will respond to each and every aspect when he argues in court.
The solicitor general said he has a status report with him but he has not filed it in the court as the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is changing every single day and would like to show to the court the exact status at the time of his submission.
At the outset, the top court clarified that except for one petition it does not have any detention matters pending before it.