Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh said on Saturday that restrictions were relaxed in one-third of the Kashmir Valley, and people were cooperating with the authorities.
He told The Hindu that if one or two mischievous elements were throwing stones and engaging with the security forces, it was not a “big issue.”
Section 144 eased
Imposition of Section 144 of the CrPc that prohibits the assembly of more than four people is still in place though it was relaxed from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the jurisdiction of 35 police stations in the Valley, Mr. Singh said.
The Valley has been under lock-down since August 5 after Home Minister Amit Shah moved two Bills in the Rajya Sabha to annul the application of Article 370 in the State and downgrade and bifurcate the State into two Union Territories.
“What concerns me is that one-third of the Kashmir Valley was open today. People were cooperative and traffic was as normal as ever. The entire Valley was peaceful. Some mischievous elements throwing stones is not a huge concern,” Mr. Singh added.
Mr. Singh said the total number of politicians or political workers taken into "preventive detention" was not centrally available as the decisions were taken at the local level.
There are 15 zones in Kashmir police zone, which includes Kargil and Leh. Excluding Kargil and Leh, there are around 100 police stations in districts of Anantnag, Awantipora, Baramulla, Bandipora, Budgam, Ganderbal, Handwara, Kulgam, Kupwara, Pulwama, Srinagar, Shopian and Sopore.
District Magistrate of Srinagar Shahid Choudhary said restrictions were relaxed in four out of five police stations in the city. “In two zones, restrictions were lifted in one go. Some of the areas where restrictions were relaxed are Panthachowk, Jawahar Nagar, Ram Munshi Bagh, Rajbagh and Sadar,” he said.
Responding to the report, Mr. Singh said, “People had gone for Friday namaz (prayers) to a mosque in Soura. While they were returning one or two mischievous elements threw stones. There were around hundred of them, but not all of them were throwing stones.”
Govt. offices to reopen
Primary schools will open from Monday and government offices will also start functioning the same day, the official said.
Mr. Singh said reports of policemen being stripped off their service weapons was “false and irresponsible.”
He said the J&K police was leading from the front and all such reports floating on social media were baseless.
“There is no Internet here; if I had video calling facilities, I would have shown you that J&K policemen have weapons. Such allegations are cheap and irresponsible,” Mr. Singh said.