No curfew anywhere in Kashmir, says police
The Jammu and Kashmir Police here on Monday dismissed as 'baseless propaganda' reports that the Valley has been reeling under curfew for the last 56 days since Article 370 was abrogated by Parliament.
Speaking to IANS in Srinagar, a senior police officer said: "Reports circulated outside the state and the country that there has been an unrelenting curfew in Kashmir since August 5 are completely baseless and part of the malicious propaganda being spread by anti-national elements".
The officer said except for four to five days since August 5 when preventive restrictions were imposed in some police station areas of old city Srinagar to thwart protests planned by the separatists, no restriction of any kind was ever imposed on the free movement of civilians anywhere in Kashmir.
"Yes, we have been maintaining presence of the security forces in cities and towns to protect civilian life and public property. But, the presence of the security forces in different parts of the Valley has never been related to restrictions on traffic or public movement," the officer clarified.
He added that action is being taken against miscreants who move around threatening shopkeepers and transport owners not to resume normal activities.
"These miscreants are being identified and will be booked under the relevant provisions of the law.
"At some places these miscreants have been seen pelting stones at the passing traffic.
"Despite these provocations private transport has moved unhindered throughout the Valley since August 5. Barring a few instances, inter-district public transport has also started moving in the Valley where public transport from Srinagar city to Jammu and vice versa did not get affected even for a single day," he said.
Authorities have strongly denied reports about shortages of baby food, medicines, ration and petroleum products.
"There is no shortage of baby food, medicines, food stuff and petroleum products like petrol, diesel and cooking gas in the Valley."
Truck loads of these supplies are reaching the Valley on a daily basis.
"Yes, mobile phones and Internet services have remained suspended. All landline phones are fully functional in Kashmir and since August 5 the BSNL has provided 10,000 additional landline connections."
"Internet facilities for students, businessmen and others are being provided at the offices of all the district magistrates in the Valley. In addition to this, 6,000 PCOs have been set up to facilitate connectivity for the public," said an officer of the provincial administration.
When asked about the restoration of mobile phone services, the officer said, "These have already been made functional in Kupwara and Handwara areas of north Kashmir. We intend to restore the mobile phone services in the Valley in a phased manner during the next two to three days".