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    Parliamentary panel to review J&K & Ladakh situation tomorrow

    Synopsis

    The parliamentary panel will seek to know the exact number of detentions, house arrests and habeas corpus cases filed in the Valley, which came under a communications blockade since August 5.

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    NEW DELHI: Union home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla is likely to appear before the parliamentary standing committee on home affairs, headed by Congress leader Anand Sharma, to “discuss the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh” since the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two Union territories. “The standing committee on home affairs will be meeting on November 15,” Rajya Sabha member Rakesh Sinha of the BJP told ET.

    This is the first time a parliamentary oversight body on home affairs will scrutinise the government’s decision on J&K and Ladakh.

    DAMImage (22).

    On August 5, the Union government withdrew the special status granted to J&K under Article 370 by introducing the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. The Bill was passed in both houses of Parliament and J&K and Ladakh became Union territories with effect from October 31.

    The parliamentary panel will seek to know the exact number of detentions, house arrests and habeas corpus cases filed in the Valley, which came under a communications blockade since August 5, said people aware of the matter.

    Ahead of the abrogation of Article 370, the Centre detained several political leaders in the Valley – former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdulla and Omar Abdullah are still under preventive detention. The parliamentary committee would like to seek clarification on the duration of their detention and arrests, said one of the persons. The panel will also examine the government’s response on the communications clampdown, which entailed curtailment of mobile phone, internet and landline services in the Valley, said the person. While landline and mobile phone connectivity were restored after a month, broadband and Internet services are still suspended after 102 days of shutdown.
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