Curfew, communication blockade continue in Kashmir

Curfew, communication blockade continue in Kashmir

Govt claims restrictions being eased out in phased manner

A motorist shows his identity card to a security personnel after being stopped for questioning at a roadblock during a lockdown in Srinagar. AFP photo.

Undeclared curfew and information blockade continued in Kashmir for the ninth consecutive day on Tuesday with people locked inside their homes even on Bakr-Eid.

Though strict restrictions remained in place on Monday (Eid day) on Tuesday there was some respite as few people were seen riding two-wheelers to reach out to their relatives to distribute the mutton of sacrificial animals. Unconfirmed reports said only 5% of people could perform ‘qurbani’ (a Muslim tradition to sacrifice an animal on Bakr-Eid) this year.

On Monday Eid prayers could be offered only in smaller mosques as no big congregation was allowed by the authorities anywhere in Kashmir.

The government said that the restrictions are being eased out in a phased manner in the Valley and the situation in the Jammu division has been restored. Government spokesperson Rohit Kansal during a presser informed that the restrictions were being eased out after a local assessment by relevant local authorities of different areas and localities of the Kashmir division in a phased manner.

While referring to the initiatives taken by the Government with reference to the various essential services, he claimed that medical services were being provided to the people without any hindrance. He informed that 13,500 OPDs have been given requisite medical treatment and 1400 new admissions have also been done, besides performing 600 medical procedures.

The spokesperson said that availability of all drugs including the life saving have been ensured in every hospital across the Valley.

Due to the information blockade, there are almost no reports from other districts of the Valley. On Thursday the government had asked its employees to resume their duties with immediate effect. However, reports said that most of the offices still remain closed with only essential services working. 

From August 4 night, the authorities snapped internet and mobile connectivity and imposed restriction under section 144 putting the valley into a near-total information blackout. The steps were taken as there was an apprehension of large scale violence against New Delhi’s decision to scrap Article3 370 and 35A and reorganisation of J&K into two union territories.

Authorities have also placed former chief minister and NC vice president Omar Abdullah, another former CM and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, Peoples Conference chairman and former BJP ally, Sajjad Lone and Imran Ansari under ‘preventive custody.’

Hundreds of political workers have also been jailed in the last 10-days. In Kashmir, the abrogation of the special status of the erstwhile state is seen as a violation of the agreement signed between the state of J&K and the Union of India in 1950.

Nearly a hundred activists of separatist organisation and incarcerated militants have been shifted to outside state jails in the last few days, reports said. Most of the former legislators in Kashmir have been placed under house arrest.

The communication blockade has created chaos across the valley with people worried about the well being of their kith and kin. People are anxiously waiting for the government to remove the communication blockade and allow them to have access to basic facilities.


Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox