ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court of India on Monday ordered Modi-led Hindu nationalist government to restore normalcy in occupied Kashmir “as soon as possible while keeping in mind national safety and security.”

“Schools, hospitals, public transport should function properly,” said the ruling of a three-member bench of India’s top court.

The ruling came as the Supreme Court took up multiple pleas against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s August 5 decision of revoking the special autonomy of Indian-occupied Kashmir.

The court has ordered the government to submit a report mentioning actual situation in the region that has been lockdown for 43 days with communications blackout, internet and telephone services suspended.

During the hearing of petitions, CJI Ranjan Gogoi remarked that if “requirement arises”, he would himself visit Jammu and Kashmir. He expressed concerns over reports of inaccessibility of Kashmiris to the Kashmir High Court.

Besides, senior Congress party member Ghulam Nabi Azad has been permitted by the court for visiting the disputed Himalayan region.

The Indian apex court issued notice on a plea filed by Azad, who had sought permission to visit Jammu and Kashmir, and interact with people there. The court allowed him to visit four districts in Kashmir: Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramullah and Jammu.

Azad, who had tried to visit the state twice after the abrogation of Article 370 provisions in held Kashmir, was sent back from the airport by the authorities.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday said that India stands divided due the polarizing policies of premier Modi.

Talking to the media, the foreign minister said that the verdict of the Indian top court was an affirmation of the stance Pakistan had taken on the issue of occupied Kashmir.

Terming the decision of the top court in India a step in the right direction, Qureshi said that the verdict passed by the court actually represented the division of opinion in India over Kashmir and over Modi’s policies.

“Restoring normalcy means that the curfew should be lifted and communications to the occupied valley restored,” elaborated the minister, saying the verdict would damage the devious plans of the Modi government with regards to occupied Kashmir.

40,000 Kashmiris arrested

Indian forces have arrested around 40,000 Kashmiris since August 5, the day when India abrogated Article 370 to scrap Jammu and Kashmir of its special status in the Indian constitution.

According to Kashmir Media Service, this was disclosed by Sheema Mohsin, a senior leader of the Welfare Party of India during a media interview in New Delhi. Sheema along with a three-member delegation of Welfare Party of India visited occupied Kashmir from September 12 and 13.

The party leaders said that the people of Kashmir had expressed total trust deficit with India for its unilateral decisions with respect to Articles 370 and 35A.

The WPI delegation, led by it President SQR Ilyas and comprising other office-bearers Sheema Mohsin and Subramani Arumugam, visited Kashmir for two days on September 12 and 13 and interacted with people at large to gouge the mood in the Valley.

Sheema Mohsin said that the people were in difficulty yet they were determined to fight for their fundamental rights.