Srinagar, Oct 9: The people of Jammu and Kashmir have welcomed a three-day ceasefire call by militants in the Valley ahead of Eid ul Fitr. Pakistan-based militant alliance United Jihad Council (UJC) announced the three-day unilateral ceasefire on Monday so that Muslims can celebrate the coming Eid festival peacefully.
Locals welcomed the step, saying it would allow them to celebrate the festival without any fear.
"This three-day ceasefire call is very good for us. We welcome it. It will make a lot of difference. Shops will remain open. People will be able to shop and celebrate Eid nicely. So, we welcome this decision from the bottom of our hearts," said Basher Ahmad, a local.
Irfan Ahmad, another local also lauded the step. "People will be able to celebrate this Eid in pace. People will be able to roam the streets late in the evening and in peace and so this is a good step," he said.
The ceasefire announcement by UJC comes after a recent surge in separatist violence in the state. More than 26 separatist guerrillas and seven soldiers were killed in fierce gunfights in the first eight days of this month.
"UJC has decided to stop attacks against Indian troops from Oct. 12 to Oct. 14," said a statement from the organisation faxed to a local news agency.
However, no "opinion" has been taken by the government on whether Indian troops would match the ceasefire by halting their counter-insurgency operations, officials said.
Eid ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of fasting, Ramadan, will be celebrated on Saturday or Sunday, depending on the sighting of the moon.