'Despite restrictions, situation in Kashmir comfortable now'

Updated: Aug 09, 2019, 07:57 IST | Agencies | Mumbai

Hours after the Centre announces abrogation of Article 370, security forces arrest over 100 people, including political leaders and activists, as they are considered a threat to peace in the Valley

Heavy rush of passengers at a railway station in Jammu on Wednesday. Pic/PTI
Heavy rush of passengers at a railway station in Jammu on Wednesday. Pic/PTI

Jammu: Barring stray incidents of stone pelting, the situation was "comfortable" in all the three regions of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), officials said on Wednesday. Security forces had arrested over 100 people, including political leaders and activists, as they were considered a threat to peace in the Kashmir Valley, they added.

The arrests came hours after the Centre announced abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted special status to J&K, and allowed bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories — J&K and Ladakh. There is a communication shutdown and certain other restrictions in the Valley.

Some shops had opened in Srinagar and the movement of people on the roads had picked up despite the restrictions, a senior official of the state administration said, adding that the "situation is comfortable now". Stating that there were "very few incidents of stone-pelting", he said people were moving on two-wheelers and cars as well. The official said the authorities were extending assistance to those who had a marriage in the family. Several video clips from Kashmir have gone viral on social media platforms showing people opening shops, walking, driving motorcycles and cars on the roads of Srinagar.

One clip showed people purportedly from the border district of Kupwara saying they wanted peace and were happy at the decision of the government to abrogate the provisions of Article 370 in the state, as it would remove political corruption. They also said the situation was peaceful in their area. An incident of stone pelting was reported from Poonch district's Baflaiz area during protests against the government's move, resulting in minor injuries to a police officer, officials said. Restrictions are in places in all the districts in the Jammu region, including Jammu city, they said.

Centre likely to bring in provision of domicile requirement in J&K

Against the background of various apprehensions in J&K after abolition of Article 370's applicability, the Central government is likely to put in place a provision of 'domicile' requirement for various purposes like purchase of land to protect the interests of the citizens of the newly formed Union Territory. The requirement of domicile is likely to be modelled on Himachal Pradesh and some other states. Senior BJP leader of J&K, Nirmal Singh, said his party unit had already given this suggestion to the central government and it was under consideration.

JD(U) makes a U-turn, supports Centre's move

In a U-turn, the JD(U), a key ally of the BJP-led NDA, on Wednesday announced its support to the Centre's move to revoke Article 370 in J&K. After opposing scrapping of Article 370, senior JD-U leader R C P Singh said that when any law comes into force, it becomes a law of the country and all should accept it. "We are with the government on scrapping of Article 370," said Singh, JD-U Rajya Sabha MP.

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