Ajit Doval makes aerial survey of Kashmir Valley

Minor protests at a few places; Id prayers peaceful

August 13, 2019 12:45 am | Updated 12:45 am IST

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. File

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. File

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval on Monday undertook an aerial survey of the situation in the city and south Kashmir as the Valley celebrated Id amid the restrictions imposed after the Centre divested Jammu and Kashmir of its special status.

Officials said Director-General of Police Dilbag Singh and Army commanders also undertook aerial visits. Id prayers were peaceful across Jammu and Kashmir, they said in a statement. In Srinagar, reasonable restrictions were imposed on large gatherings in sensitive areas to foil any bid by militants to disturb the peace.

People gathered in large numbers at local mosques to offer prayers, the administration said in a statement. In Bandipora, 5,000 people gathered at Dar ul Uloom Rahimiya and 2,000 in Jamia Masjid, 10,000 people gathered in Baramulla, 3,500 gathered at Eidgah in Kupwara, 3,000 in Trehgam, 1,500 in Sopore, 5,500 at Qazigund and 6,000 at Qaimoh in Kulgam, 3,000 in Shopian, 1,800 in Pulwama, 2,500 in Awantipora, 3,000 at Achabal in Anantnag, over 7,000 in Ganderbal, 5,000 at Charar-e-sharif and 8,000 at Magam in Budgam and many people at hundreds of mosques in Srinagar. (hundreds of local mosques). In Jammu, over 5,000 people offered prayers at Eidgah. while similar large gatherings were there in the province.

However, minor protests occurred at a few places, the statement said. “This is not unknown in Jammu and Kashmir in the past. There have been some isolated incidents of stone-throwing... , again at an insignificant level. The police handled them locally and dispersed the protesters. There are no major injuries, except for one or two individuals,” it said.

The statement said the restrictions, imposed last week, were eased from Saturday in such a manner that the people would be at ease and mischievous elements would be prevented from creating trouble. People came out in large numbers and thronged the streets of Srinagar on Saturday, 20% of the shops opened and hawkers and street-vendors sold consumables, it said. On Sunday, there was further relaxation, resulting in a large volume of traffic in some areas. Over 50% of the shops were open and the festival shopping was done unhindered, it said.

There was a massive sale of goats and sheep in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley; in the city alone, 2.5 lakh sheep were sold, it said. “In other parts of the State, the restrictions were lifted in five districts of Jammu... and limited to the night in five districts of Jammu. A similar measure was taken in the nine other districts of Kashmir based on local assessment of the situation,” it said.

It said removal or tightening of restrictions was done by the police and the district administration based on their assessment. “As and when situation demands, the easing is happening across the State. Even today on Eid, reactions will be based on local assessment,” it said.

The statement said the restrictions on connectivity continued for security reasons. “However, people are being facilitated to contact their relatives and children outside the State through the widespread deployment of help lines at convenient locations... such as the District Commissioner’s office, police stations and police posts. Thousands of calls are being made every day from these places. Over 5,000 calls were made in one day in Srinagar,” it said.

“Over 300 public points for phone connectivity are functional across the Kashmir division. A media centre has been set up by the government. Regular briefings are held there every day at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. by a senior official. Journalists have been provided phone and Internet links at the media centre,” it said.

The statement said there are some reports in the media on firing by security forces and deaths and injuries. “It is categorically denied that any incident has happened. Not a single bullet has been fired by security forces, nor has there been any casualty.”

It said the police were effectively maintaining the peace, taking decisions on detention. “This is usual and has been done for panchayat elections and Lok Sabha elections and at other times when violence by militants/separatists was apprehended. The government is committed to maintaining the peace and people have been most cooperative. Separatists and militants are being dealt with as per law,” it said.

Elaborate arrangements were made by the district administration and the police in Kishtwar district for Id, the district administration said in a separate statement.

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