New Delhi: After five days of security lockdown in the Kashmir Valley, phone services and internet were partially restored on Friday morning. Restrictions in movement were also eased to facilitate Friday prayers.
The gates of Jama Masjid in Srinagar remained shut, indicating that prayers were unlikely in the city’s main mosque. However, officials said prayers would be allowed in smaller mosques in the interiors. The official added that restriction may be reduced further if the prayers take place without any trouble.
State police chief Dilbag Singh told news agency AFP: “People are allowed to pray within their neighbourhood, there is no restriction on that. But they should not venture out of their local area.”
Around 100 political leaders, including former Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, remain in custody as the government tries to avoid protests or rallies.
On Thursday, Governor Satyapal Malik reviewed the situation and assured that restrictions would be softened for Friday prayers and Eid festival next week.
Addressing the nation on Kashmir decision on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government would ensure that people don’t face any difficulties during Eid-ul-Adha celebrations on Monday. He also acknowledged the problems faced by the people amid the lockdown.
Thousands of security personnel remain positioned across the state to keep a check on any trouble following the Centre’s decision to scrap Article 370 which gave special status to the state.