Kashmir Valley kept under lockdown during Id festival
The Kashmir Valley remained under a lockdown on the occasion of Id on Monday as severe restrictions on the movement of people and traffic continued.
Shaswati Das, a journalist with a business newspaper who returned from Srinagar on Monday evening, said all main mosques remained out of bounds and heavy stone-pelting was reported in some areas.
Reuters said hundreds of people shouting anti-India slogans spilled on to the streets following prayers in the neighborhood of Soura, the site of a big demonstration on Friday, but authorities largely sealed off the area and kept the protest localised. A television journalist said on the condition of anonymity that a group of boys snatched their cameras and heckled the team.
“They were agitated and complained that TV news channels were not giving the true picture. They accused us of giving one-sided news. The city was under a heavy security blanket and we faced issues while moving around. We were careful enough to not take out our cameras everywhere,” said the TV journalist.
Inspector General of Police S.P. Pani said the festivities passed off peacefully barring a “couple of minor localised incidents of law and order which have been handled very professionally.”
“In these incidents, there have been a couple of injuries which have been reported. Otherwise the entire Valley situation is peaceful. I strongly deny any incident of firing anywhere in the Kashmir Valley,” Mr. Pani said at a press conference in Srinagar.
District Magistrate Shahid Choudhary told The Hindu that in the past one week, only eight persons with pellet injuries were admitted and treated at government hospitals in Srinagar.
When The Hindu visited the SMHS hospital in Srinagar on August 8, there were at least 20 patients who were hit by pellets. Mr. Choudhury said many choppers flew from Tangdhar and Gurez in border areas to ferry patients.
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval who is camping in Srinagar for the past one week undertook an aerial survey.
A senior official said Internet services will remain suspended in the Kashmir Valley but the landline phone services could be operationalised after August 15. The Valley has been placed under a lockdown since August 5, the daytwo Bills in the Rajya Sabha were moved to annul Article 370.
A Home Ministry spokesperson said on Twitter: “In Srinagar, keeping in view the possibility of terrorists & mischievous elements trying to disturb public order&peace, reasonable restrictions were imposed on large gatherings in sensitive areas. People offered prayers in large numbers at local mosques and greeted each other.”
The spokesperson said that “restrictions on connectivity continue as a result of security requirements.”
“However, people are being facilitated to contact their relatives outside the State through widespread deployment of helplines at convenient locations such as the DC office, Police stations and Police posts. Over 5000 calls were made in one day in SrinagarOver 300 public points for phone connectivity are functional across the Kashmir division,” he added.