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Restrictions in Kashmir being eased out in phased manner, says govt

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday said that restrictions are being eased out in a phased manner in the Kashmir valley, a day after the valley residents marked a sombre Eid.

“The restrictions are being eased out after an assessment by relevant local authorities of different areas and localities of the Kashmir division in a phased manner,” said Rohit Kansal, government spokesman and principal secretary planning.

In comparison to the first day of Eid on Monday when authorities imposed strict curbs, the restrictions were mildly eased in many parts as the day progressed on Tuesday across Kashmir. On normal days, Eid celebrations continue for three days in Kashmir.

There was no Eid revelry on the streets, which continued to be blocked by concertina wires, and the public spaces were mostly deserted. The Srinagar air was eerily calm without any bustle or sound of fire crackers as is the norm on Eid.

Abdul Hanief, a cab driver from the frontier northern district of Kupwara, reached Srinagar with a pregnant lady who was to be admitted in Lal Ded maternity hospital.

“The restrictions were strict in Kupwara while they were eased in Sopore and Baramulla,” he said.

Kansal said that there were no reports of any untoward incidents in the past 24 hours.

“Local authorities are continuously watching the situation and taking appropriate decisions in relaxation of restrictions. And relaxation in prohibitory orders has indeed been given in most places. I told you in the morning that prohibitory orders having been relaxed in almost the entire Jammu division and many parts of Kashmir,” Kansal said in the evening.

“We have had difficult situations in past. We have seen 2008 or 2016. In 2016 (protests), we have had 37 deaths in the first week. By imposing reasonable restrictions there has been no loss of human life. We are doing everything possible to ease the restrictions,” he said.

Kashmir has been under curbs since August 5 when the Centre abrogated the special status of the state and divided it into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Expecting a backlash, the government had brought thousands of central security forces into the valley to impose restrictions. Road blocks and concertina wires dot the roads every few hundred metres and the movement of people is strictly restricted. Mobile, landline and internet facilities have been blocked since then.

“We are conscious and sensitive to the difficulties being faced by everybody as a result of restrictions, but I wish to emphasise the reasonable restrictions may be necessary to stop mischief mongers from carrying out any untoward incident,” Kansal said on communication blockade.

The government spokesman claimed that the medical services continue “unhindered” in Srinagar and all other districts of the valley.

“Routine OPDs, admissions and surgical procedures continue to be carried out. Medicines, both emergency and normal, and life saving drugs are available in adequate supply,” he said.

He gave figures for last week in Srinagar district and said that there have been “nearly 13,500 OPDs, 1400 new admissions, 600 medical procedures”.

“On the main national highway, in the past 24 hours alone, we have had movement of 100 heavy vehicles including trucks with supplies, oil tankers, gas tankers, LPD trucks. Similarly, there was movement of 1400-1500 light movement vehicles as well as buses. Flight operations continue to be normal,” he said at 12 pm.

Full dress rehearsal in various districts for I-Day

The officials and security forces held full dress rehearsal for Independence Day in all districts, including Srinagar.

Many Dogri, Punjabi, Ladakhi, Gojri and Kashmiri cultural programmes were held during the rehearsal.

DGP Dilbag Singh, who also took part in the rehearsal, thanked people for peaceful Eid.

“Yesterday was good. Eid prayers were held and people participated in good numbers. We want to thank people that yesterday passed off well. At the same time the preparations for August 15 are going on and we believe it will pass off smoothly. The preparations for that are going on at all places and its rehearsal was held in Srinagar,” Singh said.

First global investment summit in October

Kansal said that they are already making plans of moving on towards investment, employment and prosperity.

“For this purpose we have decided to hold the first-ever global invest summit in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh region from October 12 to 14,” he said.

First Published:
Aug 13, 2019 20:18 IST

Source: HindustanTimes