Air Ticket As Pass To Visit Kashmir Amid Lockdown After Article 370 Move

A top official has indicated that the lockdown may be for the long haul, amid fear of a backlash over the Article 370 decision.

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Essential supplies had been stocked and distributed across the Valley, the top officer said.


Srinagar: 

Highlights

  1. Jammu and Kashmir no longer has special status under Article 370
  2. A top official has indicated that the lockdown may be for the long haul
  3. NSA Ajit Doval is in Srinagar to review security situation

Jammu and Kashmir no longer has special status under Article 370 of the constitution and will soon become two union territories once parliament clears the move - historic decisions that were announced by Home Minister Amit Shah in parliament on Monday amid a severe security lockdown in the state. A top official has indicated that the lockdown may be for the long haul, amid fear of a backlash over the Article 370 announcement.

Kashmir Valley has more than 3 months' food supply, Principal Secretary, Planning Commission in Srinagar, Rohit Kansal said on Tuesday, a day after the stunning announcement.

"Adequate food and supplies have been stocked and distributed across the state. The Kashmir valley in particular has more than three months' supply of rice, wheat, mutton, eggs and fuel. There will be no shortage, absolutely no shortage of food or civil supplies in the Valley," Mr Kansal said.

"The request of the government to the people of Jammu and Kashmir is to maintain absolute calm and peace. Security has been beefed up and there is sufficient presence of forces," the official added.

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is in Srinagar to review the security situation.

The two former Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, who were arrested yesterday and sent to a government guest house, remain in custody. Both had denounced the Article 370 move.

Thousands of security personnel have been posted across the state; 8,500 troops yesterday joined the over 35,000 soldiers sent to Jammu and Kashmir over the past few days.

Hours before Amit Shah's announcement in parliament, which followed a meeting at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's house, phones, mobile internet services and cable networks were cut in parts of Jammu and Kashmir at midnight, politicians like Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Sajad Lone were placed under house arrest and rallies and gatherings were banned. On Friday, the government had asked Amarnath Yatra pilgrims and tourists to leave Kashmir immediately, an unprecedented step in seven decades. At the time, there was talk of intel inputs about a terror attack.

Many remain without phone services or access to the internet because of the communication blackout.

According to a government spokesperson, people who want to travel to the Kashmir Valley can use their air tickets as a pass to be shown to security forces.

On Monday, Amit Shah told parliament the president had issued a decree removing special status for Kashmir under Article 370, which was key to its accession to India in 1947. The order said the decision came into force "at once".

Amid uproar among many opposition parties, Amit Shah said: "Kashmir was a paradise, is a paradise and will remain a paradise."



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