Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra on Thursday promulgated an ordinance that says that protest organisers could be imprisoned or fined if their demonstrations damage property, PTI reported. The ordinance came into effect immediately.

The Jammu and Kashmir Public Property (Prevention of Damage) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, will “effectively discourage or prevent the deleterious activities of individuals, organisations which result in damage to public and private properties,” an official spokesperson said.

The organisers in such cases “can be punished with imprisonment for a period of two to five years and can be imposed a fine equivalent to the market value of the property damaged or destroyed,” the spokesman said.

The ordinance expands the existing law’s scope by covering damage to both government property and private ones. The governor promulgated the ordinance on the recommendation of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti as the state legislature is not in session, the report said.

“The amendment to the existing law has been made to implement the directions given by the Supreme Court in the case titled In Re-Destruction of Public and Private Properties vs State of AP and others (2009)”, the spokesperson said, according to The Greater Kashmir.