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

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)
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 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)
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)
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)

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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