The Jammu and Kashmir administration said that schools in the Valley would reopen from Wednesday in certain parts where restrictions have been lifted, PTI reported. Shops and businesses can also function in those areas, officials said in a press conference on Tuesday.
“The education department has decided to open all high schools in Kashmir Valley from tomorrow in the areas where relaxations have been provided,” Director of Information and Public Relations Sehrish Asgar was quoted as saying. “The restrictions have been eased out in more police station areas, now taking the total number to 81. The curbs will be eased out in 10 more areas on Thursday.”
Asgar also said that landline phone services will be restored in 15 more exchanges by Tuesday evening. She added that they were not saying that the situation in the state was normal. “Nobody is saying that everything is normal. We are just saying that the number of exchanges has increased,” NDTV quoted Asgar as saying. “The BSNL [Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited] is carrying out technical work, and they will ensure that lines are opened in a couple of days.”
Director of Education in Kashmir Younis Malik said that 3,037 primary schools and 774 middle schools had reopened in Kashmir with a huge improvement in the attendance of teachers. “We are making best efforts to increase student attendance in the schools,” Malik said, according to PTI.
Senior Superintendent of Police Haseeb Mughal said that no major incident was reported in the Valley apart from two minor incidents in Srinagar – one near Tatoo Ground and the other in Hawal. “They have been dealt with and we are closely monitoring the situation,” Mughal said.
Meanwhile, the Raj Bhavan said that Governor Satya Pal Malik was not in touch with former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. Malik was not involved in the detention or release of anyone as the decisions were taken by local police personnel, his office said.
“A news item has appeared stating that the Governor [Malik] has told the ex-chief ministers [Abdullah and Mufti] who are presently under detention, that they would be shifted to their residences provided they do not make any statements in the Valley against abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state,” PTI quoted the spokesperson as saying. The Raj Bhavan clarified that the article was completely “false and baseless”, and condemned the spread of such news.
Restrictions were imposed and communications were snapped in Jammu and Kashmir from a day before the central government’s August 5 announcement to revoke the state’s special status. Several leaders were also either put under house arrest or detained from leaving the state. The move has drawn stiff criticism from Opposition leaders, who have also been stopped, on multiple occasions, from visiting the state to assess the ground reality.
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