J&K: High schools to reopen in some areas today
On Wednesday, high schools will reopen in certain areas in Jammu and Kashmir, where restrictions have been eased, officials said. Earlier, primary schools in the border state were reopened. Further, officials also said that shops and medical institutions will be reopened in areas where constraints have been lifted. This development comes more than three weeks after Centre abrogated Article 370. Here are more details.
On August 5, before the BJP-led Centre decided to withdraw the special status of J&K and divide into two UTs, it put the northernmost state under an unprecedented security cover. Restrictions were imposed on public movement and communication modes were suspended. In the last few days, Centre said the situation was being reviewed daily and restrictions will be lifted gradually.
As a part of its plan to bring normalcy back in the state, the J&K administration informed high schools will be reopened. "The situation in Kashmir is getting better with each passing day. As many as 3,037 primary schools and 774 middle schools have been reopened already, and high schools are set to reopen too," said Younis Malik, Director of Education (Jammu and Kashmir).
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Director of Information and Public Relations Sehrish Asgar said primary and middle schools are open, and attendance has improved. She added that business establishments can also open in areas where restrictions are lifted, and added efforts are underway to restore public transport in the valley. "Ten more police stations will be opened by Thursday," she went on.
"Nobody is saying that everything is normal. We are just saying that the number of exchanges has increased. The BSNL is carrying out technical work, and they will ensure that lines are opened in a couple of days," Asgar said at the press meet.
Separately, SSP Srinagar, Haseeb Mughal, underscored no major untoward incident has been reported. "Two minor incidents have been reported from Srinagar - one near Tatoo Ground and another in Hawal area. They have been dealt with and we are closely monitoring the situation," the police official said. Mughal also refuted reports that people were finding it difficult to reach medical institutions due to roadblocks.
Interestingly, the press meet by J&K officials came after Army Chief Bipin Rawat said Pakistan may try to instigate violence to "internationalize" the J&K matter. "From the rhetoric and false information campaign launched by Pakistan, it is evident they are likely to create a situation to instigate violence," he said. He said residents should be allowed to appreciate the benefits of Centre's historic move.