39 days after lockdown, restrictions lifted from Jammu and Kashmir


Hindustan Times
New Delhi, Sep 13: Restrictions on movement have been lifted from entire Jammu and Kashmir and landline phones restored, 39 days after the state was put under a security and communication lockdown on August 5 after constitutional provisions that gave the state special status and its permanent residents special privileges were removed and it was divided into two union territories.
“Restrictions lifted from all areas, traffic movement has increased manifold. Landlines fully functional, mobile phones considerably working in Kupwara and Handwara,” said Department of Information and Public Relations, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, reports ANI.
However, some curbs were reimposed in Hazratbal area to maintain law and order in view of congregational prayers, said officials according to PTI. “Fresh restrictions have been imposed in areas around Hazratbal, while the curbs continued in five police station areas of downtown – interior areas of the city,” the officials said.
Since August 5, large sections of Srinagar and other cities have been barricaded with barbed wires, streets deserted and shops shuttered. With phone lines dead and internet services suspended, local residents reported difficulties in reaching family members and in procuring essential supplies.
The government has been gradually lifting curbs and has also ordered opening of schools but attendance has been thin. Traffic on the roads is gradually picking up but office attendance is also sparse and shops remain shut, barring the neighbourhood grocery shops. Political leaders, workers and separatists also continue to be in detention.
A clutch of petitions were filed in the Supreme Court, a few challenging the government move, others on the detention of politicians, restrictions on media and communication blackout. While the top court allowed a law student, CPM’s Sitaram Yechury and Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija to meet their family and friends, the bigger question of the validity of government move is before a Constitution bench and the hearing is yet to begin.