Srinagar: Restrictions were eased to allow people in Kashmir to offer Friday prayers in local mosques, officials said on Friday as security forces were put on high alert across the Valley in an apparent move to prevent possible protests.
Security forces have been deployed in massive numbers across the Valley, particularly in Srinagar city and major towns, and barricades have been erected every 100 metres and only people allowed to pass are those with medical emergencies.
All telephone and internet connections have been snapped in the Valley and only three news channels, including state-run Doordarshan, can be accessed through cable TV networks.
Security forces are in contact with priest of the mosques, influential people in the area and senior citizens so that prayers are allowed in mosques on Eid. The discussion is on how to prevent miscreants from carrying out trouble during and after the prayers so that things do not go out of hand.
“We are also considering to allow prayers in Jamia Masjid mosque in Srinagar. But some restriction will be put so to prevent a very large congregation gathering there, making the situation uncontrollable,” said the official, adding that a final decision would be taken only on Monday.
“The situation in Kashmir on Friday was mostly peaceful. There were a few incidents of stone pelting, but it was mostly sporadic in few areas,” said sources.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday had said that people of Jammu and Kashmir will be able to celebrate Id without any difficulties. He had assured that government was providing all possible help to those from J&K who live elsewhere and want to return home to celebrate the festival.
Locals had stocked up essentials like food grains, fuel and medicines in the run-up to the Monday's announcement by the home minister Amit Shah in the
Rajya Sabha about revoking provisions of Article 370.
During easing of restrictions in some parts of the city, especially in the civil line areas on Thursday, the movement of the people remained thin, while a few shops mostly selling vegetables and medicines opened....