People came out in good numbers: MHA on Eid in JK

Muslims take part in Eid al-Adha prayers in Jammu. (AFP Photo)

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday said, "reasonable restrictions" were imposed on large gatherings in sensitive areas of Jammu and Kashmir even as it claimed people "came out in good numbers" to pray on Eid in the state, which is in a lock-down.

In Srinagar, MHA spokesperson Vasudha Gupta, "keeping in view the possibility of terrorists and mischievous elements trying to disturb public order and peace, reasonable restrictions were imposed on large gatherings in sensitive areas".

"Removal and tightening of restrictions is a local exercise by the police and district admin based on their assessment of the need to maintain public order and peace. As and when the situation demands, the easing is happening across the state," she said.

The spokesperson also defended the "restrictions on connectivity", which is continuing, saying it was due to security requirements but people are being facilitated to contact their relatives outside the state through widespread deployment of helplines at convenient locations such as the District Commissioner's office, police stations and police posts.

"Over 5,000 calls were made in one day in Srinagar. Over 300 public points for phone connectivity are functional across the Kashmir division. Media provided phone and internet facility at Media Centre," Gupta said.

Information received from various districts in the state showed that Eid prayers were offered peacefully in all local mosques of Anantnag, Baramulla, Budgam and Bandipore without any untoward incident, she said adding, "Jamia Masjid, Old Town in Baramulla witnessed approximately 10,000 people offering prayers...Over 4500 offer prayers at Eidgah, Jammu," she said.

Quoting figures provided by Jammu and Kashmir government, she said large prayer congregations were witnessed at Bandipora (Dar ul Uloom Rahimiya 5000, Jamia Masjid 2000), Baramulla (10,000), Kupwara (Eidgah 3500), Trehgam (3000), Sopore (1500), and Kulgam (Qazigund 5500, Qaimoh 6000).

Shopian (3000), Pulwama (1800), Awantipora (2500), Anantnag (Achabal 3000), Ganderbal (over 7000), Budgam (Charar-e-Sharif 5000, Magam 8000), Srinagar (hundreds of local mosques) also witnessed Eid prayers, she said.

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