J & K Remains Peaceful” Restrictions Are Being Lifted Gradually: UT Administration Says

JAMMU & Kashmir  continues to  remain  peaceful  and there  has been no loss of life or major injury sustained by any person since restrictions were imposed on August 5 as precautionary measures  ahead of  revocation  of the special status enjoyed by the erstwhile undivided  state  and  its bifurcation  into two Union Territories. Briefing media at Srinagar on Friday, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said schools will reopen next week. Restrictions will be eased in a phased and “orderly way”. Offices of the Jammu and Kashmir government in the Valley functioned normally on Friday and the attendance in many offices was “quite high”. “There will be easing of restrictions in the next few days in an orderly way,” Subrahmanyam said adding that steps would be taken keeping in view the evolving situation as well as the cooperation of the people in maintaining calm and peace.”Schools will be opened after the weekend area-wise so that children’s studies do not suffer.”  Telecom connectivity, a major point of concern, will gradually be eased and restored in a phased manner keeping in mind the constant threat posed by terrorist organizations in using mobile connectivity to organize terror actions, Subrahmanyam said. Asked about the restoration of telephone lines, he said: “You will see gradual restoration from tonight and tomorrow onwards. You will find a lot of Srinagar functioning tomorrow morning. BSNL takes a couple of hours to get back to action. Exchange by exchange they will be switching it on. Over the weekend, you will have most of these lines functional”. Twelve districts in Jammu and Kashmir out of 22 were functioning normally while there were limited night-time restrictions only in five districts. “After today’s Friday prayers, immediate reports suggest that things have gone off quite peacefully right throughout the state,” he said. “We have prevented any loss of human life despite concerted efforts by terrorist organizations, radical groups and continuing efforts by Pakistan to destabilize the situation,” he said.

As restrictions on the movement of people are removed area by area, movement of public transport will be allowed in these areas too, the senior official said.”It is expected that over the next few days as the restrictions get eased, life in Jammu and Kashmir will become completely normal. This is already visible on the roads as the roads are full of regular traffic and we expect to an increase in the coming days,” he said.

Preventive detentions, he said, are being continuously reviewed. Appropriate decisions will be made based on law and order assessments, he added. The administration appreciates the fact that the cooperation of the people of Jammu and Kashmir is critical in helping maintain peace and public order. “Focus is that, at the earliest, normalcy returns while ensuring that terrorist forces are given no opportunity to wreak havoc as in the past,” he said. The government had taken steps to ensure there was no shortage of essentials and medicines during the period of restrictions. The free movement of Hajj pilgrims was also ensured. A fortnight ago, some major decisions were taken with a view to promoting the long-term welfare of the people of all the regions of the State and to ensure better governance and accelerated development. The Government’s approach was guided by the conviction that all-round development was the most credible solution to address separatist sentiments that were propagated by vested interests. Such sentiments were being utilized to legitimize a policy of cross-border terrorism that has cost the lives of thousands of inhabitants of the State and the country.. The intent of terrorist attacks was to create an atmosphere of fear and terror and to block development that could unleash opportunities for the younger generation of the population. Among the groups that are well-known for sponsoring violence and carrying out such attacks are Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, HizbulMujahideen, etc. Their record has been recognized by Governments worldwide and by international organizations, including the United Nations, news agencies said.

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