Section 144 imposed, Govt pitches in to help residents celebrate Eid with fervor
Fresh clashes erupted in parts of Srinagar ahead of Eid-al Azha (Bakrid) forcing the district authorities to impose section 144 of CrPc on Sunday. Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, told The Pioneer that strict restrictions were imposed following attempts being made by the local residents to assemble in downtown areas of Srinagar.
He said, “We are keeping a close watch on the ground situation in Srinagar to ensure peaceful Eid celebrations on Monday.” However, it was not clear whether the authorities will allow worshippers to offer prayers across all the religious places or put restrictions in sensitive areas to prevent large number of people from assembling in places.
On Friday, large number of local residents had created a piquant situation for security forces as they assembled in Soura and indulged in anti-India sloganeering over the issue of revocation of Article 370 and 35-A besides splitting the State into two Union Territories.
Meanwhile, the district administration in Srinagar chipped in with setting up mobile phone booths and starting helpline services for local residents, struggling to speak to their loved ones from outside the State. Also, measures are being taken to help residents celebrate Eid with traditional fervour. Despite, taking several measures, the local authorities have so far failed to contain public anger over poor handling of the situation and forced suspension of network services.
In Jammu region, Mendhar tehsil of Poonch, late Saturday night, witnessed some tension after vehicles belonging to members of the Hindu community were allegedly torched by ‘unidentified’ miscreants.
Additional forces, including jawans of Rapid Action Forces (RAF), have been deployed in the area to contain the public anger. The local residents also demanded setting up of security picket to instil confidence among the members of the minority community.
Local residents in the area told reporters in Mendhar early Sunday morning that we were woken up at 2.00 am due to loud sounds of blast. “When we rushed out of our homes we saw vehicles, including coach bus, tipper and four wheelers, on fire. One of the bus tyre had blasted after it caught fire,” they said.
A senior resident said, “Vehicles with registration number JK02A 07085 and JK12A 2608 were set on fire using petrol.”
The fire brigade teams and local residents jointly brought the fire under control. The local residents alleged it may be the handiwork of section of local residents, associated with the separatists from Kashmir Valley, to trigger tension in the area.
In Jammu, Eid celebrations were marred by palpable tension in the region.
On its part, the district administration in Jammu remained busy in making preparations for the Eid celebrations. Elaborate security arrangements were made in vulnerable pockets to ensure no untoward incident takes place on the occasion of Eid.
The district authorities in Rajouri, Poonch, Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban are expected to ease restrictions on Monday morning to allow worshippers to offer Eid prayers and soak themselves in festivities amid ‘unprecedented’ clamp down on network services in the region.
District Magistrate Kishtwar Angrez Singh Rana on Sunday eased the curfew in the district from 8 am till further orders, however, night curfew shall continue to remain from 9 pm to 4 am. Director General of Police J&K (DGP) Dilbag Singh visited Kishtwar and took review of the overall security, law and order scenario in the district.
During his visit, the DGP interacted with public and security personnel to get the firsthand appraisal of the ground situation.
The situation in Kargil remained peaceful on Sunday with shops and other business establishments functioning normally and people in large number thronging the Main Bazar Kargil and other markets in the town for shopping in view of Eid celebrations.
Normal traffic movement was witnessed with public transport and private vehicles plying on the roads.
To facilitate celebrations on the occasion of Eid across Valley, several measures have been taken by the authorities on ground to normalise situation. Large number of people were running short of cash, due to non functioning of ATMS and bank branches since August 5.
Taking note of this problem, the Government has directed the authorities to ensure availability of cash. In this regard, treasuries and banks are being made functional during this period even on holidays.
According to official spokesman of J&K Government, “ATMs are functioning smoothly, and it has been ensured that the cash is replenished on regular basis and people are drawing cash as and when required. Salary of all the employees and wages of DRWs/casual labourers etc. are being released. GP fund/pension/gratuity and other payments are being paid. Payments for developmental works are also being cleared on priority.” For Eid preparation provisional stores, bakery and sweet shops have been facilitated to remain open and cater the demands of the people.
The spokesman said, “We have also organised door-to-door delivery of vegetables/LPG/poultry/eggs through mobile vans.
Six (6) Mandies/Markets have been established in Srinagar City. Further, 2.5 lac sheep on hooves are available for public for Eid-ul-Azha sacrifice.
In rest of the districts, the District Magistrates have made elaborate arrangements for the forthcoming Eid-ul-Azha.
Ration Ghats in every district have started functioning to supply ration to the general public.
Out of 3697 Ration Ghats in Kashmir Division, 3557 ration Ghats have been made operational to provide ration to the general public, the spokesman said.
Special and elaborate arrangements have been made for the safe and Hassle free return of Hajis from Saudi Arabia, for which flights will commence on 18th of August. All Deputy Commissioners have nominated their Nodal Officers who will be stationed at the Airports from 18th August, 2019 for the convenience of the Haji Sahiban. Special Help Line desks will be established at Airport and Hajj House for the convenience of Hajis.
The Government has made sufficient stocking of essential items. Wheat has been stocked to suffice for 65 days, rice for 55 days, mutton for 17 days, poultry for 1 month, Kerosene Oil for 35 days, LPG for 01 month, High Speed Diesel (HSD) and MS for 28 days.
All bakery/Poultry/Mutton shops are open today and long queues were seen outside these shops.
Traffic is plying smoothly in Srinagar City and being regulated round the corner.
All the health institutions at primary, secondary and tertiary level are functioning fully with doctors and Para Medical Staff. Identity Cards of the Medical Staff are being treated as movement passes. Further the medicines are available in sufficient quantity in all the institutions.
Flights are operating as per the schedule and air tickets are being treated as movement passes.
Magistrates have been deployed at every critical place to act as facilitators for the convenience of the general public.
300 special telephone booths are being established to help public to communicate with their kins and relations.
Adequate arrangements for sanitation works have been made through Municipal Corporation and Municipalities.
To ensure 24×7 Electric supply and immediate restoration of faults/breakdown, sufficient staff has been deployed and all receiving transmission/ distribution stations are fully functional. Adequate equipments (transmission cables and transformers) are also in stock.
To ensure water supply, Staff has been deployed at Pumping Station and Filtration Plant round the clock.
Laision Officers have been activated through Resident Commissioner, New Delhi in various places including Aligarh and New Delhi, to facilitate students of J&K for communicating with their families as well as celebration of the Eid Festival.
Monday, 12 August 2019 | Mohit Kandhari | Jammu
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