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SC fixes Nov 14 to hear pleas against Article 370 abrogation

Agencies

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Putting an embargo on fresh petitions challenging the government’s decision on Article 370, the Supreme Court on Tuesday fixed November 14 to commence hearing a batch of petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of the amendment to Article 370 revoking the special status for Jammu and Kashmir.


A five-judge bench headed by Justice N V Ramana allowed Centre four weeks time to file counter-affidavits to the cases, and one week time for the petitioner to file a rejoinder. The top court which is already seized of multiple petitions in the matter said it will not entertain any more petitions.

 

“We have to allow the Centre and the J&K administration to file counter-affidavit otherwise we can’t decide the matter,” the bench also comprising justices S K Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, B R Gavai and Surya Kant said.

On Monday, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi transferred all petitions pending before it to the Constitution Bench headed by Justice N V Ramana. The bench was constituted especially to hear matters related to Article 370 starting Tuesday.

These include pleas by Anuradha Bhasin, executive editor of Kashmir Times newspaper; the habeas corpus petition by CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury questioning detention of party colleague Yusuf Tarigami; and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad seeking permission to travel to J&K.

The Presidential Order, according to the petitioners, used “a temporary situation meant to hold the field until the return of the elected government, to accomplish a fundamental, permanent, and irreversible alteration of the status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir without the concurrence, consultation or recommendation of the people of that State, acting through their elected representatives”.

This, they said, amounted to an “overnight abrogation of the democratic rights and freedoms guaranteed to the people of the State… upon its accession”.

Petitions have also been filed by former IAS officer Shah Faesal, activist Shehla Rashid, and advocates Shakir Shabir, ML Sharma, Vineet Dhanda, and others.


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3 militants killed in Anantnag gunfight

Press Trust of India

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SRINAGAR: Three militants were killed on Wednesday in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district, officials said.

The encounter broke out at Pazalpora area in Anantnag on a specific intelligence provided by the district police.

 
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Free of Cost calling facilities: Govt to set-up 50 PCOs in each district soon: Div Com

Monitor News Bureau

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SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 15: In order to provide free of cost calling facilities to the general public, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan today said that government will set-up 50 Public Call Offices (PCOs) in each district of Kashmir Division soon.

He further said that locations and other modalities have been finalized. List and other details have provided to the Bharat Sanchar Nigham Limited (BSNL) authorities and the work will start shortly.

General Public will avail calling facilities in these PCOs free of cost.

 
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Women activists including sister,daughter of Farooq arrested during protest

Press Trust of India

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The police on Tuesday arrested half a dozen women activists including the sister and daughter of former chief minister Farooq Abdullah during a march to protest against abrogation of provisions of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, officials said.

Abdullah’s sister Suraiya and his daughter Safiya, who were leading a group of women activists, were first detained and later arrested by the police.

Wearing black arm bands and holding placards, the women protestors were not allowed by the police personnel to assemble and were asked to disperse peacefully.

 

However, the protestors refused to disperse and tried to stage a sit-in.

The women CRPF personnel rounded the protestors into police vehicles.

Earlier, the police also tried to stop the protesting women from distributing a statement to the the media covering the protest.

“We the women of Kashmir disapprove the unilateral decision taken by the government of India to revoke Article 370, 35A and downgrade and split the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” the statement said.

Demanding restoration of civil liberties and fundamental rights of the citizens, the women said they feel “betrayed, humiliated and violated as people”.

They also demanded immediate release of detainees and demilitarization of rural and urban areas.

“We express our outrage against the national media for their false/misleading coverage of ground realities in Kashmir,” the statement added.

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