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India’s top court orders Modi govt to review restrictions in occupied Jammu and Kashmir

NEW DELHI: While hearing a bunch of petitions challenging restrictions imposed in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, India’s Supreme Court on Friday directed the Narendra Modi government to review within a week all orders imposing curbs in the disputed territory, Indian media reported.

“Freedom of expression and carrying on trade through internet is protected under Article 19(1) of the constitution and can be restricted only under the reasons given in Article 19(2) of the Constitution,” the SC ruled, ordering that suspending internet in the region should be reviewed forthwith.

Read More: India’s internet shutdowns costing mobile carriers millions of rupees

The Kashmir valley has been reeling from unprecedented curfew and communication curbs for the last 160 days since the BJP-led Indian government unilaterally abolished special status of the disputed Himalayan region.

Last year on Aug 5, India nullified Article 370 under which occupied Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed special status.

The valley was simultaneously placed under a shutdown in an effort to muzzle mass agitation against the move.

Read More: Internet trek: People in occupied Kashmir travel for hours to get online

The bench held that restriction on fundamental rights cannot be done by an arbitrary exercise of powers.

“Our limited concern is to find a balance regarding security and liberty of people. We only here to ensure citizens are provided their rights. We will not delve into the political intent behind the orders given,” said the court.

Read More: BJP Govt has turned occupied Kashmir into prison: CPI-M leader

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