India's top court to examine change in Kashmir's status

FILE - In this Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, file photo, a Kashmiri family waits for a lift to take their sick child to hospital as Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard near a checkpoint during lockdown in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir. India's top court takes up a legal challenge to the government's decision to scrap the special status of the Indian-controlled Kashmir and says five judges will start a regular hearing in October. The Supreme Court gave no immediate ruling after a preliminary hearing on the petitions on Wednesday, Aug. 28. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin, File)
Kashmiri men walk past closed shops in central Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. Earlier this month, the Indian government revoked Muslim-majority Kashmir's decades-old special status guaranteed under India's constitution. The government followed the move with an intense crackdown including a media blackout and backed by thousands of troops. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard at a closed market in central Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. Earlier this month, the Indian government revoked Muslim-majority Kashmir's decades-old special status guaranteed under India's constitution. The government followed the move with an intense crackdown including a media blackout and backed by thousands of troops. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
Kashmiri children play cricket outside a closed market in central Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. Earlier this month, the Indian government revoked Muslim-majority Kashmir's decades-old special status guaranteed under India's constitution. The government followed the move with an intense crackdown including a media blackout and backed by thousands of troops. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
Kashmiri men sit outside a closed market in central Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. Earlier this month, the Indian government revoked Muslim-majority Kashmir's decades-old special status guaranteed under India's constitution. The government followed the move with an intense crackdown including a media blackout and backed by thousands of troops. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

NEW DELHI — India's top court is taking up legal challenges to the government's decision to revoke Indian-controlled Kashmir's special status and has asked the government to explain its stance to the court.

The Supreme Court held a preliminary hearing on the petitions Wednesday and said five judges will start a regular hearing in October.

It ordered the federal government to file its replies to 14 petitions and inform the court about the media restrictions imposed in Kashmir.

India's Hindu-led government imposed a security lockdown and communications blackout in Muslim-majority Kashmir to avoid a violent reaction to the Aug. 5 decision to downgrade the region's autonomy.

The decision has touched off anger in Indian-controlled Kashmir and in neighboring Pakistan. Kashmir is claimed by both nations and divided between them.

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