Srinagar: The government on late Sunday imposed restrictions under Section 144 Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in Srinagar with effect from 1200 hours on August 5, 2019, which shall remain in force till further orders.
An official statement read, “As per the order, there shall be no movement of public and all educational institutions shall also remain closed. There will be a complete bar on holding any kind of public meetings or rallies during the period of operation of this order. Identity cards of essential services officials will be treated as movement passes wherever required.”
“However, there is no curfew in place as reported in a section of media,” it added.
The orders came immediately after former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah were placed under house arrest.
Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti will not be allowed to move out of their houses as strict restrictions are imposed in the Kashmir Valley from early Monday morning, police sources said.
National Conference leader Abdullah had earlier on Sunday night expressed apprehension that he was going to be placed under house arrest along with other mainstream leaders, while Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti had called the development “ironic”.
“I believe I’m being placed under house arrest from midnight tonight & the process has already started for other mainstream leaders. No way of knowing if this is true but if it is then I’ll see all of you on the other side of whatever is in store. Allah save us.
“To the people of Kashmir, we don’t know what is in store for us but I am a firm believer that whatever Almighty Allah has planned it is always for the better, we may not see it now but we must never doubt his ways. Good luck to everyone, stay safe & above all PLEASE STAY CALM,” Abdullah said in a series of tweets.
Mehbooba Mufti, who tweeted about hearing “reports about the internet being snapped soon including cellular coverage” and “curfew passes being issued”, posted: “God knows what awaits us tomorrow. It’s going to be a long night.”
“In such difficult times, I’d like to assure our people that come what may, we are in this together & will fight it out. Nothing should break our resolve to strive for what’s rightfully ours.”
Heavy deployments of local police, along with contingents of paramilitary forces, will fan out so that they are in place when the loudspeaker-mounted police vehicles make the announcement early morning.
Educational institutions across the Jammu region have been ordered shut from Monday till further orders. The Jammu Deputy Commissioner has ordered all schools, colleges and academic institutions in the district to remain shut on Monday.
Similar orders have been issued by district administrations in Udhampur and Rajouri.
Also, all Kashmir University examinations scheduled to be held from August 5 to August 10 have been postponed, it was announced on Sunday.
As the developments unfolded, Bollywood actor, Anupam Kher tweeted, “Kashmir Solution has begun.”
On the other hand, Shashi Tharoor said, “What is going on in J&K? Why would leaders be arrested overnight while having done no wrong? If Kashmiris are our citizens & their leaders our partners, surely the mainstream ones must be kept on board while we act against terrorists & separatists? If we alienate them, who’s left?”
(With agency inputs)