Meanwhile, former Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah was detained in state capital Srinagar under the Public Safety Act, a special law that allows detention for up to two years without trial.

An Indian security force personnel stands guard in front of the closed shops during restrictions which followed the Indian government scrapping Kashmir's autonomy, in Srinagar. September 10, 2019.
An Indian security force personnel stands guard in front of the closed shops during restrictions which followed the Indian government scrapping Kashmir's autonomy, in Srinagar. September 10, 2019. (Reuters)

India's top court said on Monday the federal government should restore normal life in India-administered Kashmir as soon as possible, as a partial shutdown of the disputed region entered its 42nd day.

India stripped its portion of Muslim-majority Kashmir of autonomy and statehood on August 5, shutting off phone networks and imposing curfew-like restrictions in some areas to dampen discontent.

Communications in the Kashmir valley are largely still blocked.

"We direct Jammu and Kashmir to make the very best endeavour to make sure normal life returns," India's Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said on Monday after a panel of three judges heard several petitions relating to Kashmir, which is also claimed by Pakistan.

The court had previously said authorities there needed more time to restore order in Kashmir.

One of the Supreme Court judges, Sharad Arvind Bobde, said the situation in Kashmir, where thousands have died since an armed rebellion against Indian rule began three decades ago, as "a terrible state of affairs".

Separately on Monday, local media reported Farooq Abdullah, a three-time former chief minister of the state, was detained in state capital Srinagar under the Public Safety Act. The special law allows for detention of up to two years without trial, and has been criticised by rights groups as draconian.

A current member of India's parliament, 81-year-old Abdullah was previously under informal house arrest.

More than a thousand people are likely to still be detained by Indian authorities after August 5, according to official data

Decades-old conflict 

Kashmir has been the spark for two major wars and countless clashes between Pakistan and India, two nuclear-armed arch-rivals. 

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir's mostly Muslim population and most people support the rebels' cause against Indian rule. 

Nearly 100,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown since 1989. 

The Indian military has been accused of suppressing the Kashmiri uprising using brutal tactics, including the infamous pellet guns, which have wounded or blinded many Kashmiris.

Pakistan, in turn, has been accused by India of supporting the rebels in Kashmir – a charge Islamabad denies. Pakistan says it only provides political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris fighting for the right to self-determination. 

Source: Reuters