In vice-like grip of unrest for over two months now, the Kashmir Valley will hardly see any festivities on the occasion of Eid tomorrow, with the state government deciding to impose “curfew-like” restrictions to prevent outbreak of violence.
The decision to impose restrictions on assembly of large number of people has been taken in view of the call by separatists for a march to the local offices of the United Nations tomorrow, official sources said.
They said security forces will be out on the streets in adequate strength following apprehension of violence by the separatist elements, who often use women and children as “shields” during protest rallies resulting in civilian casualties.
This is for the first time in 26 years since the onset of militancy that no Eid congregations will be held at the Idgah and Hazratbal shrines here.
The government has already ordered shutdown of internet services of all telecom networks and also mobile telephony except that of the state-run BSNL for the next 72 hours because of the tense law and order situation in the state.
The decision to completely ban internet services was taken after a review of the prevailing law and order situation in the state on the eve of Eid-ul-Zuha festival tomorrow, the sources said.
They said Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone and Reliance telecom have been ordered to shut down their services with immediate effect for 72 hours. The BSNL too has been asked to stop its broadband services for internet.
However, post-paid BSNL connections, which are mainly used by police, army and government officials, have been kept out of the purview of the ban, the sources said.
Mobile telephony was banned immediately after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8 which set off the current spiral of violence in the Valley. It was partially restored on July 27 followed by opening of only broadband Internet.