Omar, Mufti put under house arrest amid J&K tensions

Indian Paramilitary trooper stop a car for questioning in Srinagar (AFP Photo)

Former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were on Sunday night put under house arrest, as speculation mounted that the BJP-led NDA government may announce a big decision on Kashmir on Monday.

Internet services were also suspended in the Valley, where troop build-up and a series of government orders have whipped residents into a state of heightened anxiety.  

On Sunday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Intelligence Bureau Chief Arvind Kumar and Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba were in a huddle inside the Parliament building, presumably to discuss the security scenario in Kashmir, but officials didn’t disclose anything on the meeting’s outcome.

To be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Cabinet meeting will precede the discussions in Parliament, where issues relating to Kashmir are likely to figure.

Meanwhile, Kashmir continued to be tense, with security deployment at vital installations and sensitive areas stepped up amid terror threat and flare-up of hostilities with Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC).

With rumours relating to J&K’s political future floating unchecked, people in Kashmir, for the third consecutive day, were seen thronging markets to stock up on essentials.

Reports said additional paramilitary forces, which arrived here last week, were deployed across Srinagar city and in other vulnerable areas of Kashmir Valley on Sunday.

The Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) on Sunday asked around 100 cricketers, including Team India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, to leave Kashmir in view of the prevailing situation. Various educational institutions also directed their students to vacate hostels. 

Amid the flux, the National Conference held its political affairs committee (PAC) meeting in the morning, where they called for effective and immediate measures to instil confidence among the people. 

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