Will not talk to separatists, Union govt tells Apex Court
The Supreme Court asked the Union government to facilitate talks between separatists and Kashmiri lawyers, paving the way for the first attempts to defuse tension in a region where nearly 100 people have been killed in waves of violence since last year.
The bench, headed by chief justice JS Khehar, told the representatives of the Jammu & Kashmir high court bar association to use their influence in the region to open a dialogue with separatist Hurriyat leaders, the “first step to bring normalcy” to the Kashmir valley.
During the hearing, the government ruled out engaging with the Hurriyat leaders, the political face of the anti-india movement in the region claimed by Pakistan as its territory.
The meeting, the bench told attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, should be facilitated only if the rules allowed it.
“The Centre is aware of the situation there and is taking all the measures,” Rohatgi told the court.
He also objected strongly to the high court bar association’s arguments that the NDA government should hold “unconditional talks with the jailed Hurriyat leaders.”
The attorney general also said it was not for the court to commence a dialogue, but for the political parties.
The SC did not “appreciate” the AG’S aggressive stand.
A man browses the internet on his phone on a footbridge in Srinagar.