Kashmir curfew: Restrictions eased in Valley for Friday prayers, phone, internet services partially restored

By: |
August 9, 2019 1:15 PM

Officials said that security forces have been put on high alert ahead of the prayers across the Valley to foil attempts to protest against the scrapping of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and dividing it into two Union Territories.

Kashmir curfew, Kashmir latest newsParamilitary personnel stand guard during restrictions in Jammu. Restrictions have been imposed in several districts of Jammu and Kashmir as a precautionary measure after Article 370 was scrapped.

Kashmir situation update: After five days of lockdown, Jammu and Kashmir administration officials on Friday eased restrictions to allow people in the Valley to offer Friday prayers in local mosques. However, there will be no Friday congregation at Srinagar’s Jama Masjid.

A PTI report said that the decision to ease the restrictions was taken after National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval directed authorities to ensure that no Kashmiris were harassed. The local officials clarified that people will be allowed to offer prayers in mosques located in their locality. Doval also visited downtown Srinagar today. He interacted with troops and locals and also had lunch with CRPF personnel during his over visit which last over a couple of hours, news agency ANI reported.

Television images showed people standing in queues outside ATMs to withdraw cash and purchasing articles of daily need in Srinagar. In Udhampur, the administration allowed schools to reopen, however, Section 144 is still imposed in the town. “Section 144 is still imposed, but with some exceptions in certain areas. Security plan is in place. Vulnerable areas are being monitored closely. Markets are also open from 11 AM to 5 PM,” Deputy Commissioner of Udhampur Piyush Singla said.

Officials said that security forces have been put on high alert ahead of the prayers across the Valley to foil attempts to protest against the scrapping of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and dividing it into two Union Territories.

“In view of the expected gathering of people at mosques for Friday prayers, there is the apprehension of mass protests and accordingly necessary steps were taken to ensure peace,” a security official told PTI.

Strict restricts were put in place in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, hours before the Modi government moved a resolution to scrap Article 370 from the state and bifurcate it into two Union Territories. All telephone, internet and television services were also suspended. Only three news channels, including state-run Doordarshan, can be accessed through cable TV networks by the locals. However, phone and internet services have been restored partially in Kashmir today.

In his address to the nation on Thursday evening, PM Narendra Modi assured the people of Jammu and Kashmir that the government is ensuring they don’t face any difficulties in celebrating Bakrid on August 12. He said that the government is providing all possible help to those from J&K who live elsewhere and want to return home to celebrate the festival. He also extended Bakrid greetings to the people.

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