CPM leader Sitaram Yechury travelled to Kashmir on Thursday morning after the Supreme Court granted him permission to visit the state that has been under complete lockdown since the abrogation of Article 370.
Reports suggest that mobile phone services were restored in five districts on Jammu and Kashmir after 25 days.
Hindustan Times reported that the Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri and Poonch districts got back mobile phone services, while they continued to be suspended in the Kashmir Valley.
Yechury left for Kashmir on Thursday morning.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was opposing Yechury’s visit to Kashmir, “Why do you have any difficulty if a citizen of this country wants to go there and meet his friend and party colleague,”.
“If a citizen wants to go to a part of his country, he is entitled to go,” the bench, also comprising justices SA Bobde and SA Nazeer, said.
The court said this after Mehta’s contention that Yechury’s visit might affect the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the issue might become political.
“This may endanger the situation. The situation is becoming normal there,” Mehta told the bench, adding that the Left leader’s proposed visit “appears to be political”.
The apex court made it clear that Yechury was allowed to visit Jammu and Kashmir to meet his party colleague only as attention has been drawn to an interim application seeking orders from the court for bringing Tarigami to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, for better medical facilities.
Things have continued to be far from normal. High schools in Kashmir opened on Wednesday, after being shut for over three weeks, but students chose to stay away fearing for their lives.
Reports say that restrictions on the movement of people have been eased in 81 police station areas across the Valley.
Meanwhile, a doctor who had raised his voice against the health crisis in the state was taken away by the police. The Telegraph reported that Omar Salim, a urologist at the Government Medical College, was taken away to an unknown location barely within 10 minutes of him speaking to the media at the press enclave in Srinagar.
(With PTI inputs)