In major boost of support for the Centre, the General Council of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, India's top Muslim body on Thursday, has backed the parliament's move to abrogate Article 370. In a resolution passed by the body on Thursday at its headquarters in New Delhi, it states that Kashmir is an integral part of India. This resolution was announced by its General secretary- Mahmood Madani stating that Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind can never support any separatist movement as such movements harm India and Kashmir. It has also reiterated its belief in India's unity and integrity.
The resolution further states that they are mindful of Kashmir's demand for preserving its identity. It further states that Pakistan is bent on destroying Kashmir. The resolution has said that Pakistan has used Kashmir as its battlefield and its citizens a shield. The resolution calls for peaceful resolution of the issue, keeping in view the repercussions of clash of atomic powers. It has also asked the Centre to protect the life and property of Kashmir while restoring normalcy in the area.
Earlier on Wednesday, restrictions were lifted from most parts of Kashmir. Some areas in Srinagar city witnessed an increased presence of private transport leading to traffic jams. But schools remained closed and public transport was off the roads, officials said. Medical facilities are available to Valley residents with the Centre informing of the situation at regular intervals.
Officials said that restrictions have been lifted from most areas of the valley, but security forces continued to be deployed to maintain law and order. The restrictions were re-imposed in parts of the valley on Tuesday to prevent any procession in the city and elsewhere in the valley on the tenth day of Muharram. Restrictions were first imposed across Kashmir on August 5, when the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate the state into two Union territories.
However, the authorities have been imposing restrictions in vulnerable areas of the valley every Friday, apprehending that vested interests might exploit the large gatherings at big mosques and shrines to fuel protests. Friday prayers have not been allowed at any of the major mosques or shrines in the valley for the past one month now. Meanwhile, normal life remained affected in Kashmir due to shutdown. Markets and other business establishments remained closed, while public transport was off the roads across the valley, the officials said.