Written byShalini Ojha ·
In what is sure to give huge respite to Kashmir residents, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam announced that government offices re-opened in the valley on Friday. Schools, colleges, and other educational institutes will become functional from next week area-wise, he added.
To recall, Kashmir was put under lockdown before Centre decided to abrogate Article 370.
Here are more details.
In a press briefing, Subrahmanyam said the restrictions imposed by the government ensured that no one died.
"There has not been a single loss of life or injuries to anyone during the course of maintaining peace. We are now taking measures to ease the restrictions in a gradual manner," he told reporters in Srinagar.
The government is committed to restoring normalcy, he added.
About the major decisions (withdrawing J&K's special status and splitting into two Union Territories), Subrahmanyam said it was done to address separatist emotions, which were "fanned" by vested interests, and for the overall development.
"Such sentiments were being utilized to legitimize a policy of cross-border terrorism that has cost the lives of thousands of inhabitants of the state and the country," he underscored.
Explaining the rationale behind Centre's move of deploying heavy troops, not allowing people to move in groups and snapping communication modes, Subrahmanyam said there was a threat of cross-border terrorism.
He said groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizbul Mujahideen, and Lashkar-e-Taiba are known across the world for their notorious deeds.
They wanted to create an atmosphere of fear, hence, restrictions became necessary, he added.
JK Chief Secy:Steps consequently taken included restrictions on free movement telecom connectivity prevention of large gathering, closure of schools colleges. A few preventive detentions of individuals were also made in accordance with provisions of law to maintain laworder https://t.co/6upFM4GGYz— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2019
While restrictions were imposed, the government ensured people don't suffer, added Subrahmanyam.
"Steps were taken that there was no shortage of essential supplies, medical facilities, and hospitals continued to function, electricity, water supply, and sanitation services are maintained," the senior government official added.
Further, Haj pilgrims were also helped in every manner. A media center with communication facilities was also set up.
"There have been prolonged relaxations in restrictions on Saturday prior to Eid so that people could do their shopping. Relaxations were also given on the day of Eid to enable people to perform their Eid prayers which were done in large numbers (sic)," he said.
About telecom connectivity, which has emerged as a major area of concern for Kashmiris, Subrahmanyam said it will be eased gradually since terrorists use this mode to plan attacks.
In the next few days, life will become normal, he assured.
"The government appreciated that it is the cooperation of people of J&K that is critical to help maintaining peace and public order," he added.
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