After 70 days, security advisory for valley tourists to be lifted on Oct 10

TNN Bureau. Updated: 10/8/2019 9:57:26 AM Front Page

Guv reviews BDC polls, security, prevailing situation

SRINAGAR: In a major step towards return of normalcy to Jammu and Kashmir, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Monday directed lifting an over two-month-old advisory which had asked tourists to leave the Valley due to "terror threat", as he reviewed the prevailing situation and security in the State at a meeting held with his advisors and the chief secretary.

The advisory will be withdrawn after being in force for 70 days, with effect from October 10.

Ahead of revocation of special status, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had issued a security advisory asking Amarnath pilgrims and tourists to leave Kashmir, citing a possible terror threat.

"Keeping in view the latest intelligence inputs of terror threats with specific targeting of the Amarnath Yatra, and given the prevailing security situation in the Kashmir valley, in the interest of safety and security of the tourists and Amarnath Yatris, it is advised that they may curtail their stay in the Valley immediately and take necessary measures to return as soon as possible," an order issued by Principal Secretary, Home Department, Shaleen Kabra had said.

The advisory was issued on August 2, days before the issuance of the presidential order revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, negating the Article 370 of the Constitution.

However, in today’s meeting, the governor directed that the Home Department's advisory be lifted immediately.

"This will be done with effect from October 10," an official spokesman said.

The tourist footfall has slumped to zilch as the Kashmir is shut since August 4, even as administration’s efforts to restore normalcy have failed to bear fruits.

In today’s meeting, the governor was also briefed about the Block Development Council (BDC) elections, scheduled to be held on October 24.

“He was informed that there is active interest in the BDC elections and most of the seats of Chairpersons of BDCs would be filled. All AROs and AEROs have been provided mobile phone facility to ensure smooth conduct of elections. Nomination papers were accepted even on Monday,” the spokesman said.

“As BDC elections were party based, the delegations of parties whose leaders are in jail are being allowed to meet party presidents once, so that they can take a decision on elections and authorise someone to approve candidates,” he added.

The governor was also apprised of the progress in apple procurement which has crossed 850 tonnes and worth Rs 3.25 crores, he said, adding some changes in the rates of apple are being made which will be announced shortly.

The Governor has been holding Situation cum Security Review Meetings on a daily basis for 2 hours generally from 6 to 8 pm each day since 5 August.

The meetings initially focused on reviewing the security scenario after imposition of restrictions in the wake of constitutional changes, the spokesman said.

During the past six weeks, he said, all security restrictions were lifted in the most parts of Jammu and Kashmir and the governor has been focusing on bringing life back to normal.

Some of the major decisions taken in the past in the situation-cum-security review meetings include reopening of higher secondary schools, colleges and universities, restarting public transport and opening of additional travel counters at Srinagar's Tourist Reception Centre, the spokesman said.

The decisions also included opening of 25 internet kiosks in each district to facilitate the public and government departments and monitoring attendance in government offices, he added.

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