Kashmir remains shut despite eased restrictions

Security personnel stand guard during restrictions following the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370, in Srinagar. (PTI Photo)

Kashmir remained shut for the 13th consecutive day on Saturday, even as the government said that process of easing of restrictions is already in progress and most of the telephone exchanges in the Valley should be functional by Sunday evening.

While restrictions on the movement of people were eased in civil lines area of Srinagar, reports of stone-pelting were received from several areas of old city and outskirts of the city. The deployment of security forces on the ground remains as earlier, though people were being allowed to move around the city. 

Kashmir was placed under a total clampdown on August 5, hours before Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced in the Rajya Sabha that the special status for the state had been revoked and J&K has been bifurcated into two union territories. 

J&K government Spokesperson Rohit Kansal during a presser said relaxation in restrictions has been provided in 35 police stations across the Valley. 

“Administration is closely monitoring the whole situation and so far no untoward incident has been reported from anywhere in the Valley,” Kansal, who was flanked by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Swayam Prakash Pani, said.

As the communication clampdown continues as all telephone and Internet services remaining suspended, he said 17 telephone exchanges have been made functional and most of the functionality of the most exchanges would be restored by Sunday evening. 

“In Jammu division landlines services are functioning normally, besides, mobile services have also been restored in five districts there,” Kansal, said and added, “plying of transport normally on the roads is a good sign and there are reports that the same has been noticed in rural areas also.”

About opening of schools in the Valley, the spokesperson said that schools beginning from primary level shall open from Monday, besides, all the government offices will start functioning normally from the same day. 

There was an improvement in attendance of employees at the civil secretariat in Srinagar on Friday after orders from governor Satya Pal Malik to resume normal functioning of the secretariat on Thursday evening. 

The governor had also ordered for making arrangements to facilitate the government employees' movement to work. The government has detained at least 50 leaders of regional political parties, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. 

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