Authorities in Kashmir have decided to lift restrictions from the Valley on Monday, except for some areas, after a 51-day continuous curfew following the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8 and the subsequent unrest that killed 70 people.
“Following improvement in the situation, there will be no restrictions in Kashmir valley from tomorrow except Pulwama town and the areas falling under the jurisdictions of police stations MR Gunj and Nowhatta,” said a police spokesman on Sunday.
Pulwama is in south Kashmir. MR Gunj and Nowhatta fall in the old city area of Srinagar.
The development comes in the wake of Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday and the government’s announcement that an all-party delegation will visit Kashmir in the first week of September.
Also on Saturday, decks seemed to have been cleared for a meeting between Kashmiri separatists and members of the all-party delegation.
The Centre and the state government have agreed no member of the delegation will be stopped from engaging with the separatists, sources said after Mehbooba’s meeting with the PM.
Last week, a delegation of Kashmiri opposition leaders led by National Conference’s Omar Abdullah met the President and the Prime Minister, and underlined the need for the government to open talks to defuse the situation in the Valley.
Curfew was imposed on July 9 after protests erupted against the killing of Wani in an encounter in south Kashmir. It was also the first time that the curfew and restrictions were imposed continuously for 51 days without any break since militancy erupted in the Valley in 1989.
Meanwhile, residents in Kreeri area of Baramulla said that they heard gunshots on Sunday evening after security forces launched a search operation. Police denied that any shots were fired. The Baramulla control room said forces laid a cordon in Bandibala Chandoosa which was later lifted.