internet, mobile services have been shut again: An uneasy calm enveloped the Kashmir Valley on Sunday as additional security forces occupied civilian installations and police stations and were put in “standby mode” on Monday. This has been done as the movement of several senior leaders, including Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, was restricted and mobile internet services snapped in fast-paced developments on Sunday night.
Reacting to her house arrests amid prevailing situations in Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Abdullah said he was placed under house arrest in Srinagar. He tweeted, “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.”
Ms. Mufti said, “In such difficult times, I’d like to assure our people that come what may, we are in this together and will fight it out. Nothing should break our resolve to strive for what’s rightfully ours.”
Mr. Omar Abdullah and Ms. Mufti earlier in the day had warned the Centre against abrogation of Article 35A and Article 370, which gives special status to J&K.
There is no official word on the arrests by the Governor’s administration.
This move from the government comes after a massive security build-up and an advisory asking tourists and pilgrims to leave the restive state, citing security threats from terrorists backed by the Pakistan army.
Meanwhile, restrictions have been imposed under section 144 CrPC in Srinagar with effect from midnight August 5. The government has said that the restrictions will remain in force until further orders. The order reads, “There shall be no movement of the public. All educational institutions shall remain closed. There will be a complete bar on 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.”
The statement also said, there is no curfew in place, it added. Amid the prevailing situations in J&K, a total of 40 companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been deployed in the Jammu region. In Jammu, the authorities said all schools, colleges, and academic institutions, both private and government, were advised to remain closed as a measure of caution.
In a phased manner, mobile Internet services were snapped in all districts of the Kashmir Valley.
The statement further added, “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.”
According to the officials, former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti would not be allowed to move out of their respective house in view of the restrictions, while Congress leader Usman Majid and CPI(M) MLA MY Tarigami claimed to have been arrested around midnight.
However, no official confirmation of the arrests was immediately available.
Earlier on Sunday, leaders of political parties who met in Srinagar decided to meet the President, Prime Minister and other leaders, resolving to protect and defend the identity, autonomy and special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The meeting was attended by Mufti, Omar Abdullah, Taj Mohiuddin, Muzaffar Beig (PDP), Sajad Lone and Imran Ansari (People’s Conference), Shah Faesal (J&K Peoples Movement) and MY Tarigami.
Meanwhile, a meeting is underway between Governor Satya Pal Malik, the DGP and the chief secretary amid the escalation of Kashmir turmoil.