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."