Published:  02:58 AM, 12 August 2019 Last Update: 03:51 AM, 12 August 2019

Curbs return in Srinagar amid protest

Curbs return in Srinagar amid protest Women shout during a protest in Srinagar, Kashmir on Sunday. – Reuters

Securitywas tightened and restrictions were re-imposed in the Kashmir Valley on the eveof Eid-ul-Azha on Sunday amid reports of ‘street mobilization’

Allcommunication lines, including phones and the Internet, remained snapped forthe seventh day and were unlikely to be restored before and during thefestival, a top security source said on Sunday.

SrinagarDistrict Magistrate Shahid Choudhury told The Hindu that the administration hada meeting with several Imams (religious heads) to prepare for the festival onMonday.

A seniorgovernment official said prayers were unlikely to be allowed at Jamia Masjid,one of the biggest mosques, at Nowhatta. This was to prevent any largeprocession.

Askedwhy the restrictions were reimposed after they were eased on Saturday, Choudhurysaid, “Section 144 of the Cr.PC that prohibits the assembly of more than fourpeople was never completely lifted in the city. The restrictions were alwaysthere. Movement of traffic was allowed in some areas.”

DGPDilbagh Singh told The Hindu that no decision was taken on resuming theInternet services in the Valley because authorities suspected “mischievousposts” would be put out by Pakistan on social media to incite people.

“One oddstone-throwing incident in Srinagar’s downtown area does not mean the entireValley is out to throw stones. It cannot define the security situation in theentire State. The entire State is peaceful. Earlier, stone-throwing incidentswere larger in number,” Singh said.

A toppolice source said former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah would be allowed tooffer Eid prayers at a shrine on Gupkar Road.

Acongregation prayer would be allowed for other members of political partiessuch as the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, who weredetained at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC), anofficial said.

InformationCommissioner M.K. Dwivedi said restrictions were reimposed to avoid anyuntoward incident.

Sourcessaid there were reports of street mobilisation and stray incidents ofstone-throwing in the Old City as people came out to buy essentials for Eid andtraffic resumed.

Byafternoon, the police used the public address system to “direct people to stayindoors and shut the markets.” Concertina spools were unrolled on manystretches to disallow the movement.

Dwivedisaid no political speeches would be allowed on these occasions, and prayerswould be allowed in shrines in interior colonies.


Around250 mainstream political leaders and activists have been rounded up sinceAugust 5 when Union Home Minister Amit Shah told the Rajya Sabha that Article370 that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir would cease to operate.

“Thesearrests are not centralised and the exact number may not be revealed. Mostdetentions have been decided at the district level as per the law and orderrequirements,” Dwivedi said.

DivisionalCommissioner Baseer Khan said around 4,000 calls were made by residents totheir relatives outside through government helpline. “Around ₹15,000 crore wasdisbursed in salaries, with ₹5,000 crore in Srinagar alone, to ensure cashflow,” Khan said.

He said specialvegetable markets were arranged in the Valley and 2.5 lakh sheep on hooves weresold. Around 1.5 lakh animals were sold in Srinagar, he said.

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