The government on Tuesday filed a counter-affidavit in a petition by Kashmir Times editor Anuradha Bhasin in the Supreme Court, challenging alleged curb on media in Jammu and Kashmir after special status to the state was scrapped under Article 370 and it was divided into two Union Territories.
In the affidavit, the centre said there are no restrictions on movement of journalists in the region. "Regular press briefings and press releases are being organised to disseminate information," the government said.
It said restrictions were imposed on communication lines to prevent spread of "rumors, fake propaganda, and activities that could disturb public order and tranquillity".
The government said the attempt to bring normalcy is being stalled by "separatist elements and militants". "There have been numerous threats to common citizens from terror outfits threatening them from resuming normal salubrious life in the Kashmir valley," the government said in the affidavit.
Health services are functioning normally, it said, adding there is sufficient stock of essential and life-saving drugs and other medical requirements in hospitals in the region.
Refuting this, advocate Meenakshi Arora, appearing on the behalf of Ms Bhasin, told the court that people are not being able to access healthcare facilities in the region.
The top court admitted an intervention application filed by a group for media professionals. On this, the court told the centre to file an affidavit and posted the matter for hearing on November 16.