Indian paramilitary troopers stop a Kashmiri pedestrian as they stand guard during a curfew in the Lal Chowk area of central Srinagar
Indian paramilitary troopers stop a Kashmiri pedestrian as they stand guard during a curfew in the Lal Chowk area of central Srinagar

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to grant an urgent hearing on a petition seeking withdrawal of curfew, blocking of phone lines, Internet, news channels and other restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir.

A bench headed by Justice NV Ramana said that the matter would be placed before Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi for listing. The matter was mentioned before the apex court by an activist Tehseen Poonawalla, who also sought an immediate release of political leaders from the illegal custody in Jammu and Kashmir.

This came after the central government abrogated Article 35A and diluted Article 370, provisions that gave the special right to subjects of the state over several matters including land, government jobs, and scholarships.

In the wake of the move to scrap the Article 370, the PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference deputy chief Omar Abdullah were taken into preventive arrest in Srinagar. Mobile services and the internet was also suspended in the Kashmir valley prior to the move.

"I support the abrogation of Article 370, but Article 21 of the Constitution can never be suspended no matter what is the emergency," Poonawalla told ANI. The activist sought the intervention of the Judicial Commission in this regard.

"People should be given food and medical care. That is their fundamental right. Basic communication should be there so that people can go anywhere," he added.

Poonawalla also took to the microblogging site and sought a written assurance from the government that Article 21 will not be suspended and to ensure that no lives are lost in Kashmir.

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