Removal of restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir would be done only after assessment by local authorities finds it fit to do so, a senior Home Ministry official said on Tuesday. “The choice is between the inconvenience of restrictions and loss of lives. Our concern is to ensure the safety of citizens in Kashmir,” the official said.
According to Home Ministry sources, this was not the first time Kashmir was facing large scale restrictions. “In 2016, following the killing of Burhan Wani, so many lives were lost due to unabated protests. Then restrictions were imposed which continued for months. This time we have taken preventive steps to minimise violence and loss of lives,” the official said.
He also expressed displeasure at the way things were being projected in the media saying that when Hurriyat used to lock down the city of Srinagar often, it got sympathy.
“The administration is taking great pains to ensure life is eased even during restrictions. We must not just look at the inconvenience caused by restrictions but also the situation in its totality,” the official said.
He said politicians in the Valley had been detained legally and based on reports from local authorities. “It is they who will decide when they can be released. They are not political prisoners,” he said.
Sources said the ministry was looking at people creating mischief through social media platforms seriously. “We are flagging such handles which are trying to instigate, incite violence and spreading fake news. The action is being taken by the Ministry of Telecom. It is a worldwide problem and even countries that swear by free speech are grappling with it,” he said.
The J&K administration, meanwhile, Tuesday said restrictions were being eased out in a phased manner in the Valley and the situation in the Jammu division had been restored. The information was given by the Government Spokesperson Rohit Kansal during a presser held in Srinagar today.
While referring to the initiatives taken by the Government with reference to the various essential services, Kansal said that medical services were being provided to the people without any hindrance. He further 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.
On vehicular movement, the spokesperson said that national highway continues to function normally and 100 heavy vehicles carrying LPG, and other essentials are plying on daily basis.
Flights from Valley continue to operate normally and 1400-1500 light motor and other vehicles are plying on daily basis, he said.
He also said that full dress rehearsal for Independence Day has been done in every district of the Valley and the necessary arrangements have been put in place for the smooth conduct of the celebrations.
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