Govt must ensure food, medicine: HC

Summons director health with status report today
Srinagar: The J&K high court on Thursday directed state government to ensure availability of baby food and other essential commodities including life saving drugs to people in the curfew-bound Valley.
“As could be seen, the restrictions are in place from last five days. Not only people in Valley, the visitors and tourists are also put to serious predicament. It is the responsibility of the state to maintain law and order and to see that the people are not put to suffering due to want of essentials foods, medicines etc.,” said a division bench of the court headed by Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar.
The bench also directed the state to ensure “adequate treatment” to the injured persons in various hospitals.
Following the massive protests over the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani on Friday, the state government imposed curfew in all 10 districts of the Valley.  Over three dozen people are dead in the state action while 1640 others have been injured with 134 inflicted wounds in the eyes.
The division bench, also comprising Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar, directed director health services Kashmir as well as that of CAPD department to remain present along with status report on Friday at 10:30am.
It also directed the advocate general Jahangir Iqbal Ganie, who was present along with additional advocate general MI Dar in the court room, to take notice on behalf of the state government, secretary health and medical education, secretary CAPD, director health, and director CAPD.
For immediate compliance, it directed court’s registrar general to provide copy the order to the advocate general.
The court passed the directions after treating as public interest petition a letter addressed to it by an NGO, J&K Peoples Forum through its general secretary M M Shuja.
The NGO stated that the due imposition of “restrictions under section 144 CrPC”, the people are put to hardship due to non-availability of essential commodities.
“There is shortage of vegetables, baby food, medicine and life saving drugs in the hospitals,” it said. Shuja, who was also present in the court, submitted that the even government officers particularly dealing with the supply of essential commodities and health services are not functioning and there is nobody to take care for the supplies of the essential items.
He urged the court to issue directions to the state government to ensure supply of all the essential commodities and treatment to the injured persons.