India Newsletter

VALLEY PREPARES FOR EID; USUAL HUSTLE AND BUSTLE MISSING
12th Aug 2019

Ahead of Eid-ul Azha, banks, ATMs and quite a few markets remained open on  Sunday in Kashmir and restrictions were eased allowing people to come out to  shop, while the administration said it was taking steps to facilitate  availability of food and other items and offering of prayers in mosques on  Monday.  The usual hustle and bustle of the festival was missing in the Valley where  normal life has been paralysed following heavy security deployment,  restrictions on movement and curtailing of communication links after the  abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 on  August 5.  Normalcy was fast returning in most of the Jammu region where restrictions  under Section 144 CrPc have been completely lifted in five districts. In the  other five district, restrictions have been relaxed to facilitate Eid  preparations.  Magistrates have been deployed at every critical place to act as facilitators for the convenience of the general public, an official spokesperson said.  Six 'mandies' and markets have been established in Srinagar city while 2.5  lakh sheep have been made available for public for sacrifice on Eid-ul-Azha  on Monday. The authorities have also deployed mobile vans for door to door  delivery of vegetables, LPG cylinders, poultry and eggs, officials said.  With all communication links disrupted since August 5 after the scrapping  Article 370 provisions, Jammu and Kashmir's governor's administration issued  an advisory saying that 300 special telephone booths are being established  to help public communicate with their kin.  Last Friday, people were allowed to visit neighbourhood mosques and offer  prayers there. However, large gatherings were not allowed in any part of the  Valley.  District Magistrates have made elaborate arrangements for the forthcoming  Eid-ul-Azha, the official spokesman said, adding treasuries, banks and ATMs  have been made functional even on holiday in the run-up to the festival.  INDIA CANCELS SAMJHAUTA EXPRESS SERVICE AFTER PAKISTAN SUSPENDS OPERATIONS  Days after Pakistan suspended the Samjhauta Express train service that runs  between New Delhi and Lahore, India on Sunday followed suit by cancelling  its operation as well. The decision was taken after Pakistan suspended  operations on its side, the government said.  Pakistan's minister for railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said the service would  remain suspended indefinitely. "Till I am Railways minister, Samjhauta  Express train service will not operate," he said.  Following the suspension, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had called  it a "unilateral decision" and said, "We never asked for it and we regret  this decision by Pakistan which is intended to feed the narrative that the  relation between India and Pakistan have reached an alarming state."  'HAD NO DOUBTS ABOUT SCRAPPING ARTICLE 370 OR ITS IMPACT': AMIT SHAH  Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday reiterated that  scrapping of Article 370, which provided for Jammu and Kashmir's special  status, will bring to an end terrorism and usher in development. "Even as an MLA in Gujarat, I was for the abrogation of the Constitutional  provision according special status to Kashmir. As such, I was unwavering and  after becoming the Home Minister, I entertained no confusion about scrapping  it and its impact," Shah said, speaking in Chennai at the launch of a book  on the two years in office of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on the eve of  Eid.  Shah said Article 370 was neither beneficial to J&K nor to the country. It  was an impediment to the progress of Kashmir, he added.  "I was firm that this has to be removed from the Constitution. Now, with its  removal, Kashmir will witness an end to terrorism and it will proceed on the  path of progress," the Home Minister made it clear.  Union Home Minister addressed a gathering at a book launch in Tamil Nadu's  Chennai. He spoke at the launch of a book on Vice President M Venkaiah  Naidu.  IMRAN KHAN ALLEGES INDIA ATTEMPTING TO CHANGE KASHMIR'S DEMOGRAPHY  Days after India expressed that decision of scrapping the special status of  Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 is its internal matter, Pakistan Prime  Minister Imran Khan Sunday alleged that it is "attempt to change the  demography of Kashmir."  The Pakistan prime minister accused the Modi government of working at the  behest of the RSs, comparing it to the Nazi. "I am afraid this RSS ideology  of Hindu Supremacy, like the Nazi Aryan Supremacy, will not stop; instead it  will lead to suppression of Muslims in India & eventually lead to targeting  of Pakistan. The Hindu Supremacists version of Hitler's Lebensraum," Imran  said.  The two nations have been exchanging blows after the decision on Kashmir,  following which the Pakistan foreign ministry downgraded diplomatic ties  with India on Wednesday and suspended bilateral trade. Underlining the  decisions, the Ministry of External Affairs cleared that the decision is  "entirely the internal affair of India", adding, "The Constitution of India  was, is and will always be a sovereign matter. Seeking to interfere in that  jurisdiction by invoking an alarmist vision of the region will never  succeed." 

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