Curfew imposed in Srinagar on Aug 4, 5

Core Group meets to strategize security

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Aug 3: Ahead of first anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370, authorities in Srinagar today ordered imposition of curfew on August 4 and 5 following inputs about violent protests in Kashmir.
Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Choudhary ordered the imposition of curfew on the inputs received by Police about breaking of violent protests in Kashmir endangering public life and property.
“Senior Superintendent of Police, Srinagar has reported that a series of inputs have been received suggesting that separatist and Pak sponsored groups are planning to observe 5th August 2020 as Black Day, therein apprehensions of violent action or protests are not ruled out. There are specific inputs about violent protests endangering public life and property,” read an order issued here by Choudhary.
“In view of restrictions aimed at COVID-19 containment already in place, the movement and assembly of people have been prohibited to avoid spread particularly in wake of recent spike. Thus, any such mass gathering would be detrimental to efforts related to COVID-19 containment as well”, read the order.
The DC said that the report has further made a case that to prevent such violence and loss of life and property, it’s imminent to impose curfew in the district.
“Therefore, after having considered the material facts in report and examining the situation in backdrop of prevailing factors, I, District Magistrate, Srinagar, by virtue of powers vested in me u/s 144 Cr PC hereby order complete restrictions on public movement / curfew in territorial jurisdiction of district Srinagar”, read the order.
Further, he said, medical emergencies and movement of staff on COVID-19 duty with pass/Valid Cards shall be exempted from above restrictions. “Additional Deputy Commissioner (Adm), Srinagar shall deploy one Magistrate each to coordinate implementation in each Police Stations jurisdictions,” he added.
“These restrictions shall come into force with immediate effect and shall remain in force on 4th and 5th August 2020,” the order said.
“Meanwhile, the restrictions previously ordered vide this office order dated 31st July 2020 on account of Covid-19 shall continue thereafter till 8th August unless revised earlier”, read the order.
Former Chief Minister and National Conference vice president, Omar Abdullah while reacting to the imposition of two day curfew in his tweet said: “The preparations start a full 24 hours earlier this year compared to 2019 with Srinagar, and I presume the same is being done across the Valley, being placed under strict curfew from tonight for the next two days”.
“As expected, ‘normalcy acrobatics’ for 5th August are underway with imposition of Section 144 in Srinagar along with additional deployment of troops & the city lost in a maze of concertina wires, police vans & barricades”, tweeted former Chief Minister and president of PDP Mehbooba Mufti whose account is being handled by her daughter Iltija.
Meanwhile, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), Chinar Corps, Lt General B S Raju, and Director General Police, Dilbag Singh, co-chaired a meeting of the Core Group consisting of top officials of the civil administration, intelligence agencies and security forces today reviewed security situation in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of first anniversary of abrogation of Article 370.
The meeting was called to review the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and to ensure readiness to meet the anticipated security challenges on the occasion of anniversary of abrogation of Article 370 and along the LoC.
A statement issued here said that the security situation in Kashmir and the progress on handling the COVID challenges facing Jammu and Kashmir was reviewed in the meeting.
Special emphasis was given to ensure extensive security for the upcoming one year anniversary of Abrogation of Article 370 including discussions on administrative measures.
The meeting discussed the increased attempts of infiltration and ceasefire violations by Pakistan and suggested measure to counter them.
The Army Commanders told the meeting that the surveillance and counter infiltration grids in sensitive areas has been reinforced which has led to early detection and foiling of infiltration attempts in last few weeks.
They said that the reports indicate that the launch pads in PoK are full and Pakistan establishment is keen to push in infiltrators in next few weeks. “The army is ready for any border misadventure in form of BAT actions or actions to support infiltration”, they said.
The statement added that the Core group discussed the need for continued intelligence based anti-terror operations with a humane touch. “To address the complete eco-system of terror organisations, the efforts to identify and arrest over ground workers who sustain the terror organisations will continue with vigour”, the statement said.
“Intelligence inputs indicate desperation in Pakistani establishment and separatists to generate violence and civil casualties in the valley. The security forces have to be wary of attacks on political workers, attacks on soldiers on leave, IED attacks and attacks on isolated posts or patrols”.
The meeting said that law and order including COVID restrictions need to be enforced for safety of the common man. The officials also discussed local recruitment which though lower than last year had seen a spurt in last few weeks.
The meeting decided to enhance steps to prevent local youth from joining militancy. “Steps would include proactive steps in consultation with families of vulnerable youth, identification and arrest of instigators”.
The officials deliberated on the propaganda effort by Pakistan. The officials cautioned against the efforts to instigate violence in the UT. All efforts to instigate violence by the ANEs have to be proactively handled by good surveillance and policing action.
“The Divisional Commissioner brought out the efforts of the administration to meet the COVID challenges. He also informed the gathering of the efforts to speed up developmental activities in last few months which has resulted in completion of 14000 projects which were languishing for 3 to 5 Years. Maximum projects approved under PMDP in 2015 have started. Agricultural and rural economic activity is seeing revival, however tourism industry has been impacted by the security challenge and COVID 19 in 2020. He shared that ‘back to villages’ program has started showing results with empowerment of local elected representatives”.
Expressing happiness on the synchronization of actions amongst various intelligence agencies, the Corps Commander and DGP also lauded the coordination amongst different security agencies.
The senior commanders expressed satisfaction at the successful handling of the security situation and asked for continued efforts to maintain peace in Jammu and Kashmir.