Srinagar: Amid restrictions in place Eid al-Adha festivities passed off peacefully in Jammu and Kashmir, after the central government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 that granted the state a special status. Police said that except a few minor incidents in which some people were injured law and order was maintained throughout the day in the Valley.
“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. 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,” Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) SP Pani said while addressing a press conference.
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 added.
Later he thanked the people for cooperating with the administration in maintaining the order and said the reasonable restrictions imposed at certain sensitive places were completely maintained.
Rohit Kansal, the Principal Secretary in the Jammu and Kashmir administration rejected media reports which claimed firing by security agencies and deaths on the occasion of Bakra-Eid. Kansal said that not a single bullet has been fired by the security forces in the Valley nor there has been any casualty.
“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,” Kansal asserted. He 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.
“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, you will see traffic moving, people being facilitated to go and greet relatives,” Kansal stated further.
He informed that in order to alleviate the problems being faced due to the lack of connectivity, people are being facilitated through 300 public points to talk to their relatives over phones. “Over 5,000 calls were made from the Srinagar office alone by people wishing to greet their near and dear ones,” he claimed.
NSA Ajit Doval’s Aerial Survey
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who has been keeping a close watch on security for over a week in J&K and mingling with the people in the Valley, went on an aerial survey of Srinagar and other parts of the Valley. He also sat down with the J&K police personnel and officers for a ‘bara khana’ (meal with jawans) at the police control room to celebrate Eid.
Later, he interacted and greeted J&K Police officers and personnel. During his interaction with the JKP, the NSA appreciated their hard work and commended each one of the officers and personnel present for ensuring peace and facilitating general public. He also conveyed Eid greetings to the families of the police personnel.
‘Malicious’ Campaign on Social Media
Meanwhile, Pakistan today stooped to a new low as a journalist from the country posted a fake tweet alleging rift between CRPF personnel and J&K police. In the tweet, the journalist, Wajahat S Khan, claimed that a Muslim Kashmiri policeman shot and killed 5 CRPF personnel after they refused to let a pregnant woman through as she didn’t have a curfew pass.
“Rifts emerging among Indian security forces deployed in #Kashmir. A Muslim Kashmiri policeman shot & killed five Indian CRPF personnel in a ‘blue on blue’ attack after they refused to let a pregnant woman by because she didn’t have a curfew pass. Things on edge since that attack,” Khan wrote.
The CRPF strongly refuted the content and posted a Tweet on its official handle, @crpfindia. “The malicious content of this tweet is absolutely baseless and untrue. As always, all the security forces of India are working with coordination and bonhomie. Patriotism and our tricolour lie at the core of our hearts and existence, even when the color of our uniforms may differ,” the CRPF said.
The CRPF spokesperson at its headquarters, Deputy Inspector General Moses Dhinakaran also slammed the journalist’s post. “I pity your exasperation fuelled by your helplessness at not being able to implement your sinister designs in Kashmir. You have stooped to a new low with this fake news. The security forces of India are united and exist for a cause much mightier for your hatred to permeate,” Dhinakaran tweeted.
The Jammu and Kashmir police also rejected the Pak journalist’s claim.”This malicious content is strongly rebutted. Matter has been taken up with Twitter Support for action,” the J&K police tweeted.
Kashmiris Thronged at Jantar Mantar
In National Capital, a group of Kashmiris, away from their home on Eid, gathered at Jantar Mantar to observe the festival, with many saying it was difficult to celebrate when they cannot communicate with their families in the Valley.
People from various walks of life, including writer Arundhati Roy, joined them in solidarity as they shared with each other their thoughts as well as Id delicacies like biryani, kebaabs and kheer.
Among the 100 people who converged for the ‘silent protest’, the common refrain was that communication lines to the Valley should be restored as not being able to contact their families back home was causing much despair among people.