After 5-day lockdown, curbs ease in Kashmir for Friday prayers ahead of Eid
On Monday, the government moved to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir and turn the state into two union territories – J&K with a legislature and Ladakh without an assembly.Updated: Aug 09, 2019 15:47 IST
Restrictions in the Kashmir Valley were eased after five days of security lockdown to allow people to offer Friday prayers, PTI has reported, quoting officials. Thousands of security personnel remain positioned across the Valley to watch out for any trouble following the Centre’s decision to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories and scrap Articles 370 and 35-A that gave special status to the state and its permanent residents, special privileges.
No Friday congregation, however, will be allowed at the historic Jama Masjid in Srinagar.
A video tweeted by ANI, showed people queuing up outside banks on Friday but the movement of the people remained thin, while a few shops mostly selling vegetables and medicines opened.
On Monday, the government moved to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir and turn the state into two union territories – J&K with a legislature and Ladakh without an assembly. By Tuesday, both Houses of Parliament had passed the changes.
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The move reportedly comes after National Security Advisor Ajit Doval directed authorities to ensure that no person in the Valley was harassed. The officials, according to PTI, clarified that people will be allowed to offer prayers in mosques in their locality.
The government officials will reach out to people in every “nook and corner” of each district to ensure that the locals have adequate supply of various commodities ahead of Eid al-Adha, news agency ANI reported, quoting Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir Zone Basheer Ahmad Khan on Friday.
“With regard of supplies of various commodities in view of the forthcoming Eid festival, instead of people coming out to shops, departments will reach out to the public to every nook and corner of each district,” Khan said.
Giving details about Haj pilgrimage, he added, “Haj pilgrimage is about to culminate in a few days. Details of pilgrims who are coming back will be conveyed by State Haj Office Department to concerned Deputy Commissioners who will issue passes in respect of those pilgrims and to their families.”
Vulnerable areas are being monitored closely, said Deputy Commissioner of Udhampur Piyush Singla adding that “Section 144 is still imposed, but with some exceptions in certain areas. Security plan is in place..Markets are also open from 11 AM to 5 PM”.
Many regional political leaders, including former Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, remain in custody as the government tries to avoid protests or rallies
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a special address to the nation on Thursday, said that people will “not face difficulties” celebrating Eid and also assured the people of the region that the situation will normalise soon. He also hinted at the possibility of Jammu and Kashmir regaining statehood under more conducive conditions. “A new age has dawned on Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.