Jammu and Kashmir Police on Saturday claimed that not a single bullet had been fired in the Valley in the six days since the security clampdown as the Centre decided to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories.

“Things are absolutely normal, not a single incident has been reported from South Kashmir even,” Director General of Police Dilbag Singh told Hindustan Times after news reports of demonstrations against the Centre’s moves appeared in Reuters and Al Jazeera. South Kashmir is a hotbed of militancy. According to the reports, thousands of people held demonstrations in Srinagar after Friday afternoon prayers.

In a statement, the state administration asked people not to believe fake and motivated news. “The situation is calm, people are cooperative and restrictions are being relaxed to ease the situation,” the police tweeted. “Srinagar and other towns were full of traffic and people busy with Eid shopping today.”

Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Home Affairs had also refuted reports of thousands of people holding demonstrations in Srinagar following afternoon prayers. The ministry said none of these protests involved a crowd of more than 20 people.

Meanwhile, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar denied there were curbs on the media in the state. “This is not true,” he said at an event hosted by The Indian Express. “Doordarshan is working. Akashvani is being broadcast in all languages. Media is visiting different places in the Valley. This is not Emergency. Precaution is not Emergency. Don’t misread.”

When it was pointed out that the Narendra Modi government’s rationale for the lockdown in Kashmir was similar to Indira Gandhi’s statement that the Emergency in 1975 was declared for the “maintenance of internal security”, Javadekar said the comparison was unfair. “This is an absolute injustice to us because we are a democratic government…,” the minister said. “We are a successful democracy and people thought that Modi is delivering and therefore we must vote for him…People voted on their own and that is democracy. And therefore, we should not demean the action of precaution.”

The minister said the challenge in the state at the moment was to counter misinformation. “Deliberate, mischievous campaigns are the only challenge,” Javadekar added. “Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes get political reservation right from the gram panchayat to the Lok Sabha, but in Kashmir, this was not there...Under the Right to Education [Act], 25% seats in private schools are reserved for poor children throughout the country, but not in Kashmir. Don’t poor children from J&K have the right to go to private schools? The 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments [passed in 1992] gave panchayats real power. There were no elections in Kashmir but we conducted these successfully with 50%-70% voter turnout.”

The Editors Guild of India on Saturday said it was “deeply concerned” over the lack of press freedom in Jammu and Kashmir, and urged the government, to ensure the safety and freedom of movement of all journalists reporting from the ground.

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