After six days of a security lockdown that included the suspension of phone and internet services, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said today that he wanted people in the state to "celebrate Eid without fear and peacefully". The Governor's comment comes as the centre, which imposed restrictions to control protests against its decision to scrap special status for Jammu and Kashmir, has begun relaxing them to encourage the return of normalcy.
"We are preparing for Eid. We are ensuring that maximum facilities are provided to the people. People should celebrate Eid without fear, and peacefully," Governor Satya Pal Malik was quoted by news agency ANI.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Satya Pal Malik in Srinagar: We are preparing for Eid. We are ensuring that maximum facilities are provided to the people. People should celebrate Eid without fear, and peacefully. pic.twitter.com/SiIu643Id3— ANI (@ANI) August 10, 2019
Earlier today Srinagar District Magistrate Shahid Choudhary tweeted "restrictions have been eased in most parts" and that advances on salary ahead of the Eid holiday would be credited today.
He also said more than 250 ATMs had been made operational in Srinagar.
Prohibitory orders were lifted in five Jammu districts today, allowing schools and colleges in the area to reopen.
Meanwhile, the National Conference today petitioned the Supreme Court against the centre's move to scrap special status and divide it into two union territories. In its petition, former chief minister Omar Abdullah's party claimed the centre's move was "illegal".
More than 40,000 troops are currently in Jammu and Kashmir; the build-up occurred over the past weeks as part of the centre's meticulous prep for its Article 370 move.
Once the decision was announced in parliament by Home Minister Amit Shah, a complete communications blackout was enforced; top officials used satellite phones to communicate.
Outsiders were allowed to move around Srinagar using airline tickets as passes, but locals were stopped unless they could prove an emergency
Phone and internet services were partially restored on Friday, ahead of Eid celebrations, after a visit by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
"People are allowed to pray within their neighbourhood, there is no restriction on that," state police chief Dilbag Singh told news agency AFP yesterday, adding, "But they should not venture out of their local area."
Nevertheless, thousands of security personnel remain at various points across Kashmir Valley.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing the nation on Thursday, said the government would ensure people didn't face any difficulties during Eid-ul-Adha celebrations on Monday.
"The government is providing every possible help to our friends who live outside Jammu and Kashmir and want to go back for Eid," PM Modi said.
With input from ANI