Restrictions Reimposed In Some Parts Of The Valley Just Before Eid In Jammu And Kashmir

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New Delhi: Authorities maintained strict security across Jammu and Kashmir a day before Eid celebrations even as restrictions – put in place ahead of the Centre’s move to revoke Article 370 and 35 A from Jammu and Kashmir – were eased in some areas on Sunday to facilitate preparations for the festival.

Some markets, banks and ATMs remained open on Sunday, with the state administration saying it was taking steps to facilitate the availability of essentials and for people to offer prayers at mosques on Monday.

At least two reports said that security was stepped up in some parts of Srinagar. The police vehicles were seen making announcements asking people to return to their homes and a police van driving around one part of Srinagar announcing that restrictions had been imposed again after being relaxed earlier in the day.

There was, however, no official confirmation on the restrictions being reimposed in the city. “I am conscious of the fact it needs a lot more for a normal and enjoyable Eid. We are trying to reduce inconveniences and ease facilities. Just had an elaborate meeting with Imaams for prayer arrangements,” Srinagar district magistrate Shahid Choudhary tweeted.

Restrictions were imposed in Jammu and Kashmir to prevent security threats as Parliament effectively revoked Article 370 last week, ending the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, and passed a bill bifurcating it into two Union Territories — J&K and Ladakh.

The move triggered protests by some opposition parties that alleged the government had carried out the preparation for the move under a veil of secrecy. On Saturday night, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “Reports of unrest are emanating from J&K where the Govt. has imposed a media & communications black out. I urge the Govt. to take urgent steps to ensure the safety of every citizen in J&K and to lift the veil of secrecy.”

All communication links were disrupted since August 5, after the Centre’s decision on Article 370.

Authorities said that while there were reports of sporadic protests, no violence was reported anywhere in the Valley. “Everything is peaceful. The restrictions have eased and there has been lot of improvement in public and transport movement,” Choudhary said.

In Jammu, life appeared to be returning to normal as restrictions under section 144 of CrPc were completely lifted in five districts. In the other five districts, restrictions were relaxed to facilitate Eid preparations, according to an official who did not wish to be named.

Magistrates have been deployed at critical spots to act as facilitators for the convenience of the general public, an official statement said. Jammu and Kashmir governor’s administration issued an advisory saying that 300 special telephone booths were being established to help public communicate with their kin.

 

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