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Indian Supreme Court set to hear multiple pleas on occupied Kashmir today

The Supreme Court of India will on Monday take up multiple pleas against the August 5 decision of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revoke the constitutional autonomy of Indian-occupied Kashmir.

According to a report in Indian news publication India Today, the petitions include pleas against the validity of scrapping Article 370 and 35(A) of the Indian Constitution without proper discourse in the parliament.

In addition, there are petitions regarding the media and communications blackout in the occupied valley which have put the area under siege, and disrupted business and health facilities.

On August 5, Indian PM Modi had passed a bill which split occupied Kashmir into two Indian Union territories. A military curfew was imposed in the occupied valley after the decision and thousands imprisoned.

India Today reports that that a top court bench comprising of Indian Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, as well as Justices S A Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer will preside over the proceedings.

The petitioners include former Indian-occupied Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who has been stopped by the Indian government from traveling to occupied Kashmir to visit his relatives.

Other high ranking politicians, including two former chief ministers and the mayor of capital Srinagar had also been placed under house arrest by Indian security forces in August to quash dissent against the move.

Besides politicians, there are also journalists who have sought the help of the Indian court against the draconian measures of the Modi government. The editor of Kashmir Times, Anuradha Bhasin, is also a petitioner.

Bhasin told India Today that journalists in the occupied valley are not allowed to move freely.  “It is difficult for journalists to travel beyond Srinagar, making it difficult to report,” the editor further alleged.

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