The government agencies started easing restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday after the situation in the Valley continued to remain peaceful for the 12th day since the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 that gave a special status to the state.
The clampdown was imposed in J&K on August 4, a day before both the Houses of Parliament passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019, and adopted the resolution to scrap Article 370 and Article 35A.
Even as stringent security arrangements remained in place, the authorities eased restrictions on the movement of people and restored landline phone services in some areas of Kashmir Valley on Saturday.
Apart from lifting curbs in many areas, the authorities also restored the low-speed (2G) mobile internet services in five districts of Jammu region and 35 police stations in the Kashmir Valley. The high-speed internet services (2G and 3G) will be restored after a fresh assessment of the situation.
LISTED ARE TOP DEVELOPMENTS ON THE KASHMIR SITUATION
1. In Srinagar, restrictions on the movement of people in 35 police station areas of Kashmir. There was an increase in movement of private vehicles in the Civil Lines areas and other district headquarters of the Valley. The officials said that some inter-district cabs were also seen plying in Dalgate area of the summer capital.
2. Restrictions on the movement of people were eased in five districts of Jammu. The officials said that the restrictions under prohibitory orders were eased in Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban districts in the Chenab valley and border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in the Pir Panjal region early in the morning.
3. While many business establishments reopened following the authority’s decision to lift the restriction on people’s movements, the schools and educational institutions remained shut. According to the reports, the schools and colleges are likely to reopen on Monday. The restrictions under Section 144 were also relaxed in Kishtwar for the entire day.
4. Deputy Commissioner of Rajouri Shahid Iqbal Choudhary on Saturday held a meeting with the heads of various schools, officers of the education department. Taking to Twitter, he said that a total of 190 schools will resume classes on Monday (August 19). Safety of students agreed as a prime concern. Plan for extra classes to make up for the loss of last 10 days, he said.
5. Low-speed (2G) mobile internet services were restored in five districts of Jammu region. The mobile internet services continued to remain suspended in Poonch, Rajouri, Doda and Ramban districts. The state government on Saturday said that 17 of the 96 exchanges were made functional. More than 50,000 landline phones have been made operational. The officials have said that restrictions from other services would be lifted in a calibrated manner.
6. For the convenience of the citizens of the district, the Srinagar administration has started home-delivery of LPG cylinders to consumers in the district.
7. The government on Saturday said that no untoward incident was reported from the areas where the restrictions were put on August 4. The government also said that the process of relaxation would continue in these areas on Sunday as well. He said to ease the relaxation in other areas would be decided after assessing the situation by the local authorities.
8. Advisor to Governor K Skandan on Friday chaired a meeting with the Deputy Commissioners (DC) of Jammu division to review the functioning of their departments and address other pertinent issues. He was also apprised about the functioning of departments, various developmental activities and convergence plan in the districts.
9. Earlier in the day, a Pakistani diplomat claimed that the Kashmir issue can be resolved through a “proxy war or a war” and not “diplomacy”. Zafar Hilaly, who previously served as Pakistan’s ambassador to Nigeria, Yemen, and Italy, said even if UNSC members pressure Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revoke the abrogation of Article 370, the Indian leader cannot do so due to “national interests.”
10. Former Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak and retired Major General Ashok Mehta are among six petitioners who moved the Supreme Court on Saturday, challenging the J&K Reorganisation Bill and the abrogation of Article 370.
The petitions claimed the amendments struck at the heart of the principles on which the state of Jammu and Kashmir integrated into India, especially as they had no affirmation or sanction from the people of Jammu and Kashmir which, according to the petition, is a constitutional imperative as far as the state of J&K is concerned.