Restrictions imposed in Jammu by the government ahead of abrogation of Article 370 have been completely lifted, but will continue in Kashmir for some time, a senior Jammu and Kashmir police officer said on Wednesday.
The announcement comes a day after the Union Home Ministry said the restrictions will be removed in a phased manner. “Restrictions imposed in Jammu have been completely removed. They will continue in some places of Kashmir for some time,” Additional Director General Munir Khan said at a press conference in Srinagar.
The police official also added that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is totally under control and there have been no major injuries to anyone. There have been only a few pellet injuries that have been treated, he said.
Ahead of the Independence Day 2019 celebrations tomorrow, Munir Khan said: “Everything is in place.” Talking to reporters after the presser, he said his message to Kashmir would be to “celebrate 15th August with high fervour”. The officer also added that the main focus currently is to ensure peaceful Independence Day celebrations across the state. “Our biggest endeavour is to ensure there is no civilian casualty,” Khan told reporters.
Asked about the number of people detained, Khan said he would not talk about individuals. “In a law and order situation like this, there are different kinds of detention… preventive detention to ensure the established miscreants do not vitiate the peaceful atmosphere… so you have to take preventive steps,” he said.
On Wednesday, addressing a press conference, Principal Secretary and government spokesperson Rohit Kansal said the Jammu region was “almost entirely” free of restrictions. “We are hopeful that once the full dress rehearsals for Independence Day being carried out in various districts of J&K and Ladakh conclude, there will be further relaxations,” he said. “The choice is between the inconvenience of restrictions and loss of lives. Our concern is to ensure safety of citizens in Kashmir,” said a senior official of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Jammu and Kashmir has been under lockdown since August 4 after the government snapped mobile lines, internet connections and cable TVs. Section 144 had imposed in the Valley and any public gathering is banned. Almost 400 political leaders of the Kashmir Valley, including two former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, are under detention.
On August 5, a Presidential Order revoked provisions of Article 370, which granted special status to J&K. Three days later, Parliament ratified this decision and passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019, which bifurcates the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
(With inputs from PTI)