On Monday, The Indian Express visited 13 schools in Srinagar - all in the city’s relatively peaceful Civil Lines area. Of these, 11 schools were locked while security guards at the two remaining schools said neither students nor the staff had arrived.
“Keeping in view the evolving situation, as well as the cooperation of people in maintaining calm and peace, we are now taking measures to ease the restrictions in a gradual manner,” Subrahmanyam said.
Independence Day in Kashmir: “We are ready for the main function tomorrow. It will be held in Srinagar where the national flag will be hoisted by the Honourable Governor. In Jammu, the celebrations will be led by the Advisor to the Honourable Governor,” Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal said.
Srinagar DM meets Imams, administration lists 300 phone booths, delivery of vegetables. Meanwhile, sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said the government was assessing the situation and would gradually lift restrictions.
In Jammu, most people did not come out of their houses as they were not aware of the lifting of prohibitory orders, said local Muslim leader Zahoor Ahmed. There were less buyers at animal mandis set up on the outskirts of the city, he said.
While local newspapers are forced to reduce the number of pages, Kashmir Press Club general secretary Ishfaq Tantray on Saturday appealed to the Press Council of India and international journalists’ associations to take up with the government the issue of this “media gag”.
With TV channels and newspaper reporters limited to a small perimeter in Srinagar, news from other parts of the Valley, both from north and south, and even peripheries of the city, is only trickling in through patients and their attendants travelling to Srinagar hospitals.
The Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital, usually packed with patients and attendants every night, now receives a trickle. Its corridors and wards are more or less empty and ambulances are stationed outside, in a row.
Professor Rakesh Sehgal, director of NIT-Srinagar, said about 950 students living in the hostels had been sent home. “The administration gave instructions... We don’t take action on our own. I am in touch with the HRD ministry as well,” he said.
The Imam Bara, which until a few years ago was closed most of the time except for 10 days during Muharram, has now opened its doors to school students from Hardas who need the extra coaching, help with homework and often, go just to listen to some good stories.
At Pahalgam, assistant director of tourism, Pahalgam, Zahida Parveen said, “There were around 1,000 tourists here. Most of have them have left now. We are asking them to leave for Jammu instead of going to Srinagar.”