New Delhi, May 16: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday declared ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramadan. Following a request of ceasefire during the month of Ramadan or Ramzan from J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, the Centre asked the security forces to not launch operations in in the state during that time.

“Centre asks security forces not to launch operations in J&K during the month of Ramzan. Security forces to reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people,” Ministry of Home Affairs was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. The Ministry of Home Affairs, in a statement, said, “The Centre asks Security Forces not to launch operations in Jammu & Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan.”

“Decision taken to help the peace loving Muslims observe Ramzan in a peaceful environment. Security Forces to reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people. Government expects everyone to cooperate in this initiative and help the Muslim brothers & sisters to observe Ramzan peacefully and without any difficulties,” the statement added.

The Centre said that it is important to isolate forces who indulge in mindless violence and terror and bring a bad name to Islam. “It is important to isolate the forces that bring a bad name to Islam by resorting to mindless violence and terror,” the MHA further said.

CM Mehbooba Mufti has also been informed of the decision. Speaking to The Indian Express, Mehbooba Mufti said, “Home Minister Rajnath Singh called me saying the Centre has decided a ceasefire during the month of Ramzan. It is a very good news. I hope that everybody supports this initiative.”

Muslims in India will look for the crescent moon this evening to confirm the start date of Ramadan 2018. Depending on the moon sighting, fasting for Ramadan or Ramzan month will start in the country.