Jammu and Kashmir is no longer 'Copped' up

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir may be coming out of its ‘cooped up’ status. To begin with, telephone lines will start buzzing from tonight. Other communication restrictions in the Valley will also be eased out in phases.

Schools would also open from Monday "area-wise," so that children's studies do not suffer. Government offices have already been made fully functional.

As regards the detention of politicians, including former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, an official said that "preventive detentions are being continuously reviewed and appropriate decisions will be made based on law and order assessments". 

The state was put under an unprecedented lockdown ever since with phone lines and internet services were suspended. The restrictions were eased for a few hours on Eid morning in the Valley and put back immediately after the prayers were over.

The redeeming feature is that there has been no loss of life in the Valley during the past 12 days of lockdown. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam is, therefore, holding out hope that life "will become completely normal" as the situation improves over the next few days.

Countering foreign media reports claiming deaths and serious injuries during demonstrations following the revocation of special status for Jammu and Kashmir, Subrahmanyam said steps were being taken to ease the restrictions in a gradual manner "keeping in view the evolving situation as well as the cooperation of the people in maintaining calm and peace".

Pakistan has been using the foreign media reports to whip up international opinion against India on the Kashmir issue. "As movement restrictions are removed area-by-area, public transport will start moving in these areas,"

he said, announcing that government offices were made fully functional from Friday. Kashmir will become completely normal. This is already visible on the roads which have seen steady return of regular traffic, he said.

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