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Centre justifies curbs in Jammu and Kashmir before Supreme Court, gives reasons

The curbs followed Centre abrogating Article 370 and scrapping of the special status enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir. The former state was also bifurcated into two union territories on August 5.

Centre justifies curbs in Jammu and Kashmir before Supreme Court, gives reasons

The Centre on Tuesday listed out the reasons in the Supreme Court (SC) for imposing restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir, calling them wholly necessary and justified for the maintenance of peace and order in the region.

The curbs followed Centre abrogating Article 370 and scrapping of the special status enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir. The former state was also bifurcated into two union territories on August 5.

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Justifying the move, the Centre said that it was taken in the background of the violence by Pakistan-backed terrorists which had plagued the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir for many decades. "The nefarious activities of the militant elements, with support and funding from across the border, have resulted in a massive loss of lives over the years. Since the year 1990, around 41,866 persons have been killed, and the State witnessed 71.038 incidents of terrorist violence," said T Sreekanth Director (Jammu and Kashmir) in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Speaking on an affidavit filed by the state government in the SC, the Centre endorsed its statements and submissions.

The affidavit of the state government read, "This affidavit is being filed to apprise this Hon’ble Court of the fact situation prevailing as on date. It is submitted that the present affidavit is being filed to satisfy the conscience of this Hon’ble Court with regard to the situation on the ground as also to controvert the false assertions made by the Petitioner in the affidavits filed before this Hon’ble Court."

The Centre in its affidavit said that the national security and the safety and protection of the people are the paramount considerations for the Government. It added that all necessary steps would be taken to ensure the discharge, by the Government, of its constitutional obligations in that regard. "The fullest help and assistance would he provided, by the Government of India, to the State administration, to safeguard the lives and property of the people. I further state that the Government of India is committed to making every endeavour to ensure that the region returns to a state of normalcy as expeditiously as possible, consistent with the requirements of national security and the maintenance of peace and order," said the Centre.

Here is the full text of the affidavit by the Centre:

I, T Sreekanth, S/O Shri T.C.Reddeppa aged 72 years presently working as Director (Jammu and Kashmir) in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, do hereby solemnly affirm and state as follows:

1. That in my official capacity I am acquainted with the facts of this case, and am competent and authorized to swear this affidavit on behalf of the Union of India.

2. I submit that the State of Jammu and Kashmir has filed an affidavit, in this case, placing before this Hon'ble  Court certain salient facts which would establish that the steps taken for the maintenance of peace and order in Jammu and Kashmir were wholly necessary and justified. This is particularly so in view of the recent decisions taken by the Union Government in regard to Article 370 of the Constitution of India, as well as in the background of the terrorist and militant violence which has plagued the State of Jammu and Kashmir for many decades. The nefarious activities of the militant elements, with support and funding from across the border, have resulted in a massive loss of lives over the years. Since the year 1990, around 41,866 persons have been killed, and the State witnessed 71.038 incidents of terrorist violence.

The affidavit of the State Government also places on record the current position in regard to the relaxation/lifting of the restrictions which had become necessary in the present circumstances.

3. I state that the Government of India endorses the statements and submissions made in the affidavit of the State Government. National security, and the safety and protection of the people of this country are the paramount considerations for the Government of India, and all necessary steps would be taken to ensure the discharge, by the Government, of its constitutional obligations in that regard. The fullest help and assistance would he provided, by the Government of India, to the State administration, to safeguard the lives and property of the people. I further state that the Government of India is committed to making every endeavour to ensure that the region returns to a state of normalcy as expeditiously as possible, consistent with the requirements of national security and the maintenance of peace and order.

4. I respectfully submit that in view of the avemtents made in the affidavit filed by the State of Jammu and Kashmir. as well as in this affidavit, no further orders are called for in the present case and the petition under reply may he disposed or by this Hon'ble Court accordingly.