Srinagar : The Army operated a convoy on Monday notwithstanding an order of the Jammu and Kashmir government that such movement of vehicles should take place only twice a week — Sunday and Wednesday, army officials said.
The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the order will hamper the operations of the army.
The officials claimed there were no consultations with the army officers concerned before the order on the convoy movement for security forces was issued.
“During informal talks, it was made clear to the state officials that such an order was not possible to implement,” said an officer who is engaged in convoy movement.
The state Home Secretary Shaleen Kabra on the directions of Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam issued an order on April 3 in which civilian traffic was restricted on the national highway from Udhampur in Jammu region to Baramulla in North Kashmir on Sunday and Wednesday every week till May 31 to facilitate the smooth movement of the convoys of the security forces on those two days.
However, there was movement of a army convoy on the national highway on Monday and at some places even the CRPF vehicles were seen.
There was no formal reply yet to a query sent by PTI to the spokesman of the strategically located XV corps which is also tasked with counter-insurgency operations.
The Jammu and Kashmir police as well as other state and central security agencies were also apparently caught unawares about the order issued by the state home department.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah also posted a video of an army convoy moving on Monday while the civilian traffic was plying normally on the other side of the road.
“Here’s another full strength convoy. I’m simply trying to highlight the point that the architects of the highway closure have made no application of mind. Somehow this convoy on the highway is safe today but it wouldn’t have been yesterday (Sunday) and won’t be on Wednesday,” he tweeted while taking a dig at the state administration.
“If it is safe for SF convoys to move on Monday WITHOUT closing the highway to civilian traffic, why is it not safe on Wednesdays & Sundays? Nothing proves the mindlessness of the order more than army movement on ‘unsafe’ days. This road is part of the highway by the way,” the National Conference leader added.
Day 39: Normal life still out of gear in Kashmir; schools remain shut, public transport off roads
Srinagar: Normal life remained affected in Kashmir as the stalemate following the abrogation of Article 370 entered its 39th day on Thursday with schools closed and public transport off the roads, officials said.
Restrictions on the movement or assembly of people have been lifted from most areas of the valley, but security forces continued to be deployed to maintain law and order, the officials said.
They said the authorities were also considering easing out restrictions on mobile communications and restoring voice call services.
While landlines across the valley were functional, voice calls on mobile devices were working only in Kupwara and Handwara police districts of north Kashmir.
However, normal life remained severely affected across the valley due to shutdown which entered 39th day on Thursday, the officials said.
Markets and other business establishments remained closed, while public transport was off the roads across the valley, they added.
Internet services remained suspended across all platforms, the officials said.
The efforts of the state government to open schools have not borne any fruit as parents continued to keep children at home due to apprehensions about their safety.
Most of the top-level and second-rung separatist politicians have been taken into custody while mainstream leaders including three former chief ministers — Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — have also been either detained or placed under house arrest.
NC leader Akbar Lone ‘appreciates’ Pakistan’s role in raking up Kashmir issue
SRINAGAR: National Conference leader and MP Akbar Lone has “appreciated” the role of Pakistan in raking up the Kashmir issue internationally and “putting pressure” on India, even as he said that his party must contest elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
Lone told IANS in an interview that contesting elections has been compulsion in the past though “Kashmiris don’t belong to India”.
“We will have to first understand what powers the new Assembly will have in the event of any elections taking place. As a man from National Conference, whatever the elections, we must contest elections,” he said.
Batting for a united stand by political parties against the abrogation of Article 370, Lone said that all parties must stand together for the restoration of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
“All parties like the Congress, National Conference, PDP and other small and big groups must join hands to carry out agitation against India for the return of the special status of the state,” Lone added.
Lone said the clampdown in Kashmir is stopping people from showing their resentment against the scrapping of the special status.
“It is military rule in Kashmir. Every nook and corner of the state is guarded by the Army, by paramilitary forces, people are not allowed to come out, if they would have been allowed to come out, they would have showed their resentment,” Lone said.
He said that he “appreciated” the role of Pakistan and other countries in raking the Kashmir issue internationally and “putting pressure” on India.
“It is a good thing that Pakistan or China or US any other country rakes up the Kashmir issue internationally and supports the cause, they have exposed India, otherwise India would have taken the move as a success without caring about who is who,” he said.
Lone demanded the release of former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah and said the party leadership must be allowed to meet these senior leaders to decide the future course of action.
“We must be allowed to see our leaders and they must be released, we will sit down along with other parties to chalk out a joint course of action,” Lone said.
Kashmir integral part of India, says Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind
Top Muslim body Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JuH) on Thursday came out in support of the Centre’s decision of abrogating provisions of Article 370, saying Kashmir is an “integral part” of the country and the welfare of people in the Valley lies in their integration with India.
In the resolution passed in its annual general meeting held in New Delhi, JuH rallied for a united India.
“It is our belief that the welfare of the people of Kashmir lies in getting integrated with India. The inimical forces and the neighbouring country are bent upon destroying Kashmir. The oppressed and beleaguered people of Kashmir are stuck between opposing forces,” it said, without mentioning Article 370.
“JuH stands steadfastly for the unity and integrity of the country and has accorded it paramount importance. As such it can never support any separatist movement, rather it considers such movements not only harmful for India but also for the people of Kashmir,” it said.
It also said that the current situation in Kashmir demands that peaceful initiatives be launched to maintain peace and security in the region, especially in the view of the repercussions of clash of “atomic powers”.
The Muslim body also appealed to the government of India to protect the people of Kashmir and their property while respecting human rights.
“It must use every possible constitutional means for bringing back normalcy in the region and winning the hearts of the people of Kashmir,” it said.