Srinagar People In Confusion And Panic
Kashmir's summer capital was caught in a web of speculation, confusion, and panic on Saturday following a slew of "urgent" measures taken by the central government, including a massive deployment of additional paramilitary forces and a crackdown against pro-Pakistan organization Jamat-e-Islami.
The police refrained from giving specific reasons for the sudden action. However, with the Supreme Court hearing on a petition challenging Article 35A likely next week, the entire Valley was abuzz with speculation that the Centre was going to scrap the article through an ordinance.
Article 35A bars people from outside Jammu and Kashmir from buying or owning immovable property, settling permanently and also from becoming beneficiaries of state-sponsored schemes.
After detaining JKLF chairman Yasin Malik, the Union home ministry on Friday ordered the CRPF to “urgently” deploy 100 companies — CRPF 45, BSF 35, SSB 10 and ITBP 10 — in Jammu and Kashmir with immediate effect. In its letter, the government, however, mentioned no specific reasons for the decision. In a J&K Police order, several BSF and ITBP companies were asked to take over “the static guard duties” of the CRPF companies.
Late night on Friday, police arrested dozens of Jamat leaders including its chief Dr. Abdul Hamid Fayaz and all the office bearers. The Jamaat leaders were picked up from several places across the valley, including Anantnag, Pahalgam, Dialgam and Trail in south Kashmir.
On Saturday, clashes between locals and security forces were reported from Anantnag and Bandipora and some parts of Srinagar city. Srinagar district magistrate announced the imposition of restrictions on the movement of people in several localities in old Srinagar city in the wake of shut down call was given by the separatist leaders. Police also sent out an advisory to "all protected dignitaries" to curtail their movement.
J&K government also ordered all the public health chief medical officers to urgently procure drugs and other supplies in all the districts. The leave of all government employees and consultants was also canceled. In two other orders, the government asked the public distributors to complete the sale of food-grains by the evening and ration fuel supplies and prevent hoarding.