In view of the prevailing security situation in the state, the government on Monday decided to impose Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in Jammu with effect from 6 am. Mobile internet services have been suspended in Jammu, in view of the prevailing security situation in the region in recent days.
The order came minutes after mainstream leaders in the state including former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah were placed under house arrest. Schools and colleges of the district have been shut down until further order.
What is Section 144?
Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) is issued in urgent cases of security threat or riot and bars the assembly of five or more people in an area where it has been imposed. The notification is issued by the District Magistrate of the area. The section also empowers the authorities to block internet access.
Why is it imposed in Jammu and Kashmir?
Kashmir has been on the edge in the wake of a massive security build-up. Leaders of all major political parties in the state met here on Sunday and urged India and Pakistan not to take any step which may disturb the peace and escalate tensions between the two countries. On August 2, the Indian Army had said that Pakistani terrorists are plotting to carry out an attack on the ongoing Amarnath Yatra and that the security forces have recovered a Pakistan Ordnance Factory anti-personnel mine from a terror cache.
After the Jammu and Kashmir administration curtailed the Amarnath Yatra and asked pilgrims and tourists to leave the valley at the earliest on Friday, anxious residents continue to throng markets to stock on essentials and serpentine queues have been visible outside shops and fuel stations. The Anantnag district administration, in view of "panic stocking",ordered all fuel station dealers not to sell petrol or diesel without permission from the district magistrate or an authorised officer.
What is the punishment if someone violates Section 144 CrPC?
Any person involved in such unlawful assembly can be booked for “engaging in rioting”. The maximum punishment for such act is three years. Anyone who obstructs the police from breaking the assembly or abets the assembly is also punishable under law.