Srinagar: Security has been stepped up in the Valley and movement further restricted ahead of Independence Day on Thursday, even as the government has claimed that restrictions imposed after the repeal of Article 370 would be a removed in a ‘phased manner’. (Also read: Not Centre, Local Administration to Decide on Lifting of Curbs)
There has been lockdown in J&K since the Centre revoked Article 370 that pertained to the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and decided to bifurcate it into two Union Territories.
Rubbishing claims of any major incidents of violence reported in the Valley, J&K Police ADGP Munir Khan said,”Whenever a situation takes shape in the Valley, our neighbours try to vitiate the atmosphere, you have seen certain videos that have been circulated from 2016. There have been localized incidents which have been contained…few pellet injuries have been reported but no major injuries.”
He said that restrictions in Jammu had been completely removed but will continue for some time in Kashmir. He added that Independence day in Kashmir will be celebrated under blanket security.
At a press briefing, Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal said, “Relaxations announced yesterday will be extended to today evening as the local authority is keeping a close watch on the situation”. Along with him, is He says that the law and order situation in the Valley is under control and any minor incident has been dealt with.”
Meanwhile, even as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took the Governor up on his offer of a visit to the Valley, his party colleague P Chidambaram hit out at Satya Pal Malik for the invite to Rahul and called it a tool of propaganda.
In a series of tweets early morning, the former finance minister said, “To say that Rahul Gandhi put conditions is rubbish. Rahul Gandhi asked for freedom to meet everyone, including soldiers. How is that putting conditions?” He was referring to a statement by Raj Bhavan which accused Rahul of putting too many conditions while ‘accepting’ Malik’s invite.
Elsewhere, BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi questioned the Congress’ intent behind ‘speaking in the tune of separatists’, as the party persistently attacked the govt’s decision of revoking Article 370 on J&K. “Can the party explain what their real objective is?” he said, accusing AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi of adding salt.
On the verbal duel between Rahul and Malik, he said, “Who is stopping Rahul from visiting the Valley, but if you want to disrupt peace then how can that be allowed?”
Rahul had urged Malik to allow an Opposition delegation the freedom to meet people and soldiers to which the Raj Bhawan accused him of trying to politicise the situation.
“Rahul Gandhi is politicising the matter by seeking to bring a delegation of Opposition leaders to create further unrest and problems for the common people. As he has put forth many conditions for J&K, the Governor is referring the case to the local police and administration to examine the request further,” the statement said.