Eid passes off peacefully in Valley

TNN Bureau. Updated: 8/13/2019 11:36:48 AM Front Page

Minor protests reported; No firing, no casualty, says Govt

SRINAGAR: Three days after passing its first test with flying colors, the Centre, the administration of Governor Satya Pal Malik along with the security forces made it through the next major trial on Monday when Eid festivities passed off peacefully across the Kashmir valley amidst tight security arrangements.
There were a few minor incidents in which some people were injured, but there was no firing anywhere in the Kashmir Valley, the police said, even as the administration claimed that the Eid prayers were held at almost every mosque in the region, adding that restrictions on connectivity continue as a result of security requirements.
National Security Advisor who had gone for a trip to Delhi on Sunday, cut it short and arrived back in Valley to take stock of the ground situation from up in the sky, sources in the security establishment said, even as government reiterated its commitment towards maintaining peace and order, especially ahead of Independence Day, which is also the third major test for the authorities.
“Eid Prayers have been offered in all districts of Kashmir as well in Jammu region. All necessary arrangements were made to facilitate the people for offering prayers at mosques and other places,” Principal Secretary to Government of J&K and Government Spokesperson Rohit Kansal said, adding that peace and harmony was witnessed across Jammu & Kashmir during Eid.
The government had yesterday allowed people of offer prayers in their neighbourhood mosques.
In Srinagar, keeping in view the possibility of terrorists, militants and mischievous elements trying to disturb public order and peace, reasonable restrictions were imposed on large gatherings in sensitive areas. People gathered in large numbers at local mosques to offer prayers and greet each other, the administration said in a statement.
According to the statement, people congregated in large numbers at many places including Bandipora (Dar ul Uloom Rahimiya 5000, Jamia Masjid 2000), Baramulla (10,000), Kupwara (Eidgah 3500), Trehgam (3000), Sopore (1500), Kulgam (Qazigund 5500, Qaimoh 6000), Shopian (3000), Pulwama (1800), Awantipora (2500), Anantnag (Achabal 3000), Ganderbal (over 7000), Budgam (Charar-e-sharif 5000, Magam 8000), Srinagar (hundreds of local mosques).
In Jammu, over 5,000 offered prayers at Eidgah while similar large gatherings were there in the province.
"The Eid namaz was offered in different mosques and after the prayers, the congregations dispersed peacefully. There have been a couple of minor localised incidents of law and order which have been handled very professionally,” Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) S P Pani said.
"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," he told a press conference here.
Rohit Kansal said not a single bullet has been fired by the security forces in the Kashmir Valley on Monday nor there has been any casualty.
"There have been some reports in the media about firing by security agencies and deaths. The police carried out a detailed briefing and I would like to reiterate and categorically deny that any firing incident has happened in Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
The IGP also said no medicolegal case has been reported, and according to the statistics available with the police, injuries to only a couple of people have been reported.
"I am saying that they were admitted in the hospital but they are absolutely stable," he said.
Referring to the law and order situation, Pani said some arrests were made but these were "absolutely in the ambit of law" and all those arrested were produced before the court and legal actions are being taken.
"At this stage, every district has got its own priority and depending on the local situation, depending on the incident, they respond and they try to maintain the order," he said.
Pani said lifting or imposing restrictions was a dynamic process and the administration was giving some relaxation as per the local situation.
"Depending on the local situation, some relaxation has been given as the situation has developed," he said.
Kansal said the district and divisional administrations carried out a number of activities, including interacting with maulvis and common people, ensuring trading activities in markets, and as a result the Eid festival has been extremely peaceful.
He said the authorities were watching the situation very carefully and the overall policy of the government has been to ease restrictions as much as possible.
"You saw relaxation of restrictions on Saturday, you saw greater relaxation of restrictions on Sunday, on Eid you saw people being facilitated. I told you that there was large Eid congregations in a number of places. If you carry out a round of the market today evening, you will see traffic moving, people being facilitated to go and greet relatives," he said.
Over 50 per cent of the shops were open and Eid shopping was done unhindered, he said.
However, he said the situation was dynamic and the administration will not allow any mischievous elements to disturb the peace at any cost. "For this purpose, reasonable restrictions were required to be imposed."
"In other parts of the state, restrictions were completely lifted in five districts of Jammu and limited to the night in five districts of Jammu. Similar local relaxation was done in the nine other districts of Kashmir based on local assessment of the situation," he said.
On the eve of Eid, restrictions were eased in the Valley to allow people to shop for the festival. But the usual hustle and bustle of Eid al-Adha, one of the biggest festivals in Kashmir, was missing.
Normal life in the Valley has been paralysed owing to heavy security deployment, restrictions on movement and curtailing of communication links after the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 and moved a bill proposing bifurcation of the state on August 5.
Last Friday, people were allowed to visit neighbourhood mosques and offer prayers there.
President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday declared the abrogation of special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 after both Houses of Parliament passed a resolution in this regard.
On Saturday, he gave assent to a bill passed by the Parliament to split Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh -- which will come into existence on October 31.

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