As Jammu and Kashmir marked the first anniversary of revocation of its special status, curfew-like restrictions remained in force in the Union Territory on Wednesday (August 05).
Police and CRPF personnel were deployed in strength across the valley, especially Srinagar city, to ensure that the plans of separatists to disturb peace do not succeed, officials said.
They said police vehicles, fitted with public address system, went around localities soon after daybreak announcing the imposition of strict restrictions to combat COVID spread. “There is a ban on assembly of more than three persons and people are requested not to violate the law and stay indoors,” the police said.
Barricades had been set up at hundreds of places in the valley including Srinagar city to regulate the movement of essential services and emergencies, while concertina wires had been laid to block some parts of the roads, the officials said.
Authorities in Srinagar on Monday (August 03) announced that curfew would be imposed in Srinagar city in view of inputs about violent protests endangering public life and property as the separatist and Pakistan-sponsored groups were planning to observe August 05 as a “Black Day”.
However, the order imposing curfew was suddenly withdrawn on Tuesday (August 04) evening. An official spokesman said the decision to revoke the curfew order was taken as Tuesday passed off without any untoward incident.
Meanwhile, the BJP’s Kashmir unit on Wednesday celebrated the first anniversary of the revocation of the special status and accused those protesting the constitutional changes of being sympathisers of the ISIS.
BJP leaders and workers unfurled the national flag at the party office and distributed sweets. “We are celebrating the completion of one year of abrogation of Article 370 (provisions) and the positive changes that it brought in Jammu and Kashmir,” BJP leader Altaf Thakur told reporters at the party office in Jawahar Nagar.
Thakur said the abrogation of Article 370 provisions of the Constitution, which accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, had brought about many positive changes and put an end to stone pelting in Kashmir.
Also, authorities foiled plans of the National Conference (NC) to hold an all-party meeting on the first anniversary. NC president Farooq Abdullah had called an all-party meeting at his Gupkar Road residence, but restrictions imposed by the authorities played a damper as all roads leading to the VIP area were sealed by barricades and concertina wires.
Abdullah had invited leaders of several political parties to his residence to chalk out a joint political strategy for the restoration of the special status through democratic means. NC MP from Anantnag Hasnain Masoodi and PDP’s Rajya Sabha member Fayaz Mir were turned away from Gupkar Road citing restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.
(With inputs from agencies)