The administration in Jammu and Kashmir claimed to have made arrangements for Eid-al-Adha celebrations on Monday, even as some reports said curfew was imposed again in parts of Srinagar and security remained tight. Some markets and banks were open on Sunday, and the administration said it was “trying to reduce inconveniences and ease facilities” for the festivities.
The state has been under a tight security and information clampdown since August 4, a day before the Centre announced that it was revoking Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcating the state into two Union territories. The prohibitory orders were relaxed in parts of the state on Friday.
According to The Indian Express, curfew was imposed again in Srinagar in the afternoon. Police vehicles were seen moving around Srinagar, asking people to go back home. “We have received orders from senior officers to impose curfew again,” an unidentified police officer said. “No reason has been given. We are only implementing their order.”
A senior police officer said that Eid prayers may not be allowed at Jamia Masjid and Eidgah. “We have made plans to deploy security forces in the Valley on Monday,” he said. “We are keeping our fingers crossed.”
NDTV and Reuters news agency also reported that police vans drove around some areas of the city asking people to go home, and most streets were silent by the evening. The administration has not confirmed the development.
Srinagar District Magistrate Shahid Choudhary tweeted: “I am conscious of the fact it needs a lot more for a normal and enjoyable Eid. We are trying to reduce inconveniences and ease facilities. Just had an elaborate meeting with Imams for prayer arrangements.”
Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh told The Hindu that no decision has been taken to restore internet services in the Valley. “One odd stone-throwing incident in Srinagar’s downtown area does not mean the entire Valley is out to throw stones,” he said. “It cannot define the security situation in the entire state. The entire state is peaceful. Earlier, stone-throwing incidents were larger in number.”
Rohit Kansal, the principal secretary of the Planning Commission in Srinagar, told ANI on Sunday: “People are coming out and shopping for Eid. A large number of people came out today. Wherever there were restrictions, they were relaxed. We are trying to facilitate people who want to travel to Srinagar to meet their dear ones. We are trying to provide transport at Civil Airport Srinagar, as well as at bus station, so that people can reach their home without any difficulty.”
Follow Scroll.in’s coverage of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration said 300 special telephone booths were being established to help residents communicate with outsiders, PTI reported. Liaison officers have also been activated in places like New Delhi and Aligarh to help students communicate with their families.
Divisional Commissioner Baseer Khan said around 4,000 calls were made by residents to their families through the government helpline. Around Rs 15,000 crore was disbursed in salaries, with Rs 5,000 crore in Srinagar alone, to ensure cash flow, he added.
The state police claimed the situation was normal and no untoward incident had been reported anywhere so far. The authorities have denied all reports of protests in the state in the last few days. On Friday, about thousands of protestors reportedly held demonstrations in Srinagar following afternoon prayers. The Ministry of Home Affairs had refuted the reports, while the state police had said not a single bullet had been fired in the Valley since August 5.
On Sunday too, Reuters reported that hundreds of people protested in Srinagar against the Centre’s decision to end the state’s autonomy. People gathered at a mosque in the Soura area of Srinagar and shouted anti-India slogans. Protestors carried banners with the words “Save Article 35A”, a reference to the article that prohibited the sale of property in the state to outsiders.