A curfew was imposed across Kashmir on Tuesday as authorities feared protests and violence ahead the first anniversary of the withdrawal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5, 2019, PTI reported. The Srinagar district magistrate in an order said they have received inputs about separatists and Pakistan-sponsored groups planning to observe August 5 as “Black Day”.

“There will be restrictions in place across Kashmir,” Vijay Kumar, the inspector general of police of Kashmir Zone told The Indian Express. “There are apprehensions of militants attack in the coming days, and the relaxation in the Covid-19 lockdown was only for Eid.”

Police and the Central Reserve Police Force personnel were deployed in heavy numbers across the Valley, officials told PTI. They said police vehicles, fitted with public address systems, announced in localities that strict curfew will remain in place till Wednesday. “People are requested not to violate the law and stay indoors,” the police said.

Officials added that barricades have been put in place at hundreds of places in Kashmir, including Srinagar city, to regulate movement of people. Only medical emergencies would be exempted.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who was released on March 24 from detention after nearly eight months, said the preparations for restrictions have started 24 hours earlier this year in contrast to 2019. “I presume the same is being done across the Valley, being placed under strict curfew from tonight for the next two days,” he tweeted.

On August 5 last year, the Narendra Modi government abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution, and divided the state into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. It also put many Kashmiri politicians under detention, many of whom have still not been released. The region has been attempting to go back to normalcy since then, even as high speed internet services remain inactive in the Valley.

An order issued by Srinagar District Magistrate Shahid Iqbal Choudhary on Monday said any mass gathering would also be detrimental to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

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