With the internet and mobile blockade continuing well into its third week, posters have emerged, on the outskirts of Srinagar and in south Kashmir, as the new means of communication. As they appear to be in contrast to each other, it looks like these posters have become the new tool to win over public opinion in Valley.
Soura, situated on the periphery of Srinagar, has posters almost in all poles calling for “Civil disobedience”, reports The Hindu. One poster put up in Urdu, according to the English daily, reads, “No employee should cooperate with the present government. Pay no taxes. Boycott paying bills for electricity and water.”
With the Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani and his core team put under house arrest, fear seems to have gripped both the security agencies and the Hurriyat supporters as these posters may lead to mobilisation of street protests and eventually pave the way for the emergence of local street leadership. Through the issuance of statements by way of posters, there appears to be a concerted effort to fill the vacuum caused by the incarceration of Geelani, a police officer has told The Hindu.
In sharp contrast, posters in the Pulwama district of South Kashmir list out the advantages of Article 370’s abrogation. They point to the Right to Education, mid-day meals in schools central schemes for farmers and the like which were hitherto not applicable to the Jammu and Kashmir.
Another article in The Hindu has said that the process of releasing the 173 incarcerated leaders has begun in the state. While the release would be in phases, keeping in mind the prospective law and order scenario, political leaders suffering from ailments and those who don’t pose a threat to peace will be let off first.
However, National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti are not to be released, in the first phase, over fears of protests.
According to the official data accessed by the newspaper, around 70 NC leaders, 79 PDP leaders, 12 leaders of the People’s Conference (PC) and the Congress respectively are currently in detention in the valley.
Meanwhile, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla presided over an inter-ministerial meeting on Tuesday, in New Delhi, to assess the implementation of several central schemes and initiatives to be implemented to hasten the return of normalcy to the valley.