India’s top court to examine change in Kashmir’s status

Personal Injury

India’s top court on Wednesday took up legal challenges to the government’s decision to revoke Indian-controlled Kashmir’s special status and asked it to explain its stance to the court.

The Supreme Court ordered the federal government to file its replies to 14 petitions and inform the court about media restrictions imposed in Kashmir. It said five judges will start a regular hearing on the matter in October.

India’s government, led by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, imposed a security lockdown and communications blackout in Muslim-majority Kashmir to avoid a violent reaction to the Aug. 5 decision to downgrade the region’s autonomy. The restrictions have been eased slowly, with some businesses reopening, some landline phone service restored and some grade schools holding classes again, though student and teacher attendance has been sparse.

On Wednesday, the court allowed an Indian opposition leader to visit Kashmir to meet a party colleague who he said was under detention, but told him not use the visit for political purposes.

The court’s directive was in response to a petition filed by Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), who wanted his party’s detained leader in the region to be produced before a court.

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