Restrictions will be eased to allow people in Kashmir to offer Friday prayers in local mosques, officials said on Friday as peace prevailed in the Valley. Security forces are, nonetheless, on alert as they have been over the past few days following Article 370's abrogation - the state's full integration with India - and its bifurcation into union territories J&K and Ladakh.
The decision on easing of restrictions comes even as National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval spent two hours with CRPF personnel in the Valley, days after interacting with people on the ground, as per sources. While there will be no Friday congregation at the historic Jama Masjid in Srinagar, officials clarified that people will be allowed to offer prayers in mosques in their locality.
The decision was taken as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order, a day after restrictions in some parts of the civil lines areas of the city and Dal Lake were eased to allow free movement of people, they said.
Republic TV's report from Srinagar's streets showed there be no hint of any tensions or strife, with peace prevailing.
The restrictions in Kashmir were imposed on Monday, hours before the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status and split it into two union territories - Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir. Security forces had earlier been deployed in large numbers across the Valley, particularly in Srinagar city and major towns, and barricades were erected every 100 metres, with only those with medical emergencies and clearance allowed to pass.
Speaking to Republic TV on Thursday, Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen KJS Dhillon assured that the security situation was 100% under control and that the Indian Army was assisting officials in providing door-to-door supply of essentials, while medical services were all running.
Another grounds reports by Republic TV also showed that the situation was normal. Hawkers were seen selling fruits and vegetables. In addition, banks and ATMs are operational
(With PTI Inputs)