SC verdict on Article 370: Security beefed up across Kashmir; Mehbooba put under house arrest, LG denies claims

The Supreme Court will pronounce its verdict on the petitions challenging the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 on 11 December.


Published Dec 11, 2023 | 11:19 AMUpdatedDec 11, 2023 | 11:23 AM

Mehbooba Mufti

As the Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce its verdict on Article 370 on Monday, 11 December, authorities strengthened security arrangements in sensitive parts of Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the summer capital Srinagar and adjoining areas, officials said.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti and the leaders of the PDP party were put under house arrest on Monday ahead of the verdict, her party said.

Is Mehbooba Mufti under house arrest?

Mehbooba’s daughter Iltija Mufti said that they have been placed under house arrest with a posse of policemen deployed at their Khimber residence on the outskirts of the city.

“Even before Supreme Court judgement is pronounced, police has sealed the doors of the residence of PDP president @MehboobaMufti and put her under illegal house arrest,” the party said in a post on X.

However, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha denied the reports and said that any report of the house arrest or arrest of anyone ahead of the Supreme Court verdict on the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution is “totally baseless”.

“This is totally baseless. In entire Jammu and Kashmir, no one has been put under house arrest or arrest. This is an attempt to spread rumour,” the LG told reporters.

Police, too, have neither confirmed nor denied the development which came just a few hours before the expected judgement of the Supreme Court on the constitutional validity of the Union government’s decision to abrogate controversial Article 370 in August 2019.

Related: Curtain-raiser: Supreme Court verdict on Article 370 on 11 December

The Abdullahs under house arrest too?

Meanwhile, police did not allow journalists to gather near National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah’s residence at Gupkar in Srinagar, officials said.

Police personnel was deployed at the entry point of Gupkar Road and journalists were not allowed anywhere near the residence of the NC leaders.

Following the LG’s message that no leader has been put under house arrest, Omar Abdullah took to X to question the LG. “Dear Mr LG these chains that have been put on my gate have not been put by me so why are you denying what your police force has done. It’s also possible you don’t even know what your police is doing? Which one is it? Are you being dishonest or is your police acting independent of you?” he asked, sharing pictures of the locked gate.

Omar Abdullah lives with his father after he vacated his official residence in October 2020.

While Farooq Abdullah, who is a Member of Parliament from Srinagar, is in Delhi for the ongoing Parliament session, his son is in the valley.

Also read: SC reserves verdict on Article 370

Near normal Jammu

In contrast to the heightened security in Kashmir, the security situation and deployment of police and paramilitary forces were near normal in the winter capital Jammu.

Movement of vehicles escorting or carrying VIPs and protected persons in “troublesome areas” should also be avoided, an advisory issued by the inspector general of police, Kashmir zone to all security forces and senior superintendents of police said.

The officials said strict vigil is being maintained across Jammu and Kashmir to maintain law and order.

The Cyber Police, Kashmir has advised social media users to use the platforms responsibly and refrain from sharing rumours, fake news, hate speeches or obscene, violent and defamatory content.

“Moreover, social media users are cautioned not to indulge in propagation of terrorist and secessionist ideology and false narrative,” the Cyber Police said in an advisory.

The Supreme Court will pronounce its verdict on the petitions challenging the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 on Monday.

The provisions of Article 370 were abrogated by the Union government on 5 August 2019, and the erstwhile state was bifurcated into the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

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