Stones were pelted, but forces didn’t fire back in Srinagar says MHA
New Delhi, Aug 14: The Home Ministry said that "miscreants" resorted to unprovoked stone-pelting against security personnel at Srinagar outskirts on August 9 to cause "widespread unrest", but no bullet was fired against the protesters.
The incident took place at Soura in Srinagar amidst government-imposed restrictions on communications and movement of people, following the abrogation of special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.
"Stories in media on a said incident in Soura region of #Srinagar. On 09/08, miscreants mingled with people returning home after prayers at a local mosque. They resorted to unprovoked stone-pelting against law enforcement forces to cause widespread unrest (sic)," a home ministry spokesperson said in one of a series of tweets.
The law-enforcement authorities showed restraint and tried to maintain law and order, she said.
"It is reiterated that no bullets have been fired in #JammuAndKashmir since the development related to #Article370," the spokesperson said.
The security clampdown is imposed after the Union government on August 5 stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated it into Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
On August 10, the ministry had said that there have been a few stray protests in the Kashmir Valley in the past few days against the scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, and none of these involved a crowd of more than 20 people.
"Why use bombastic language like clampdown, lockdown? How many days has the Hurriyat (Conference) called for a hartal (strike)? For months together, there were restrictions," an official in the Ministry of Home Affairs said when asked how long the restrictions in Kashmir would continue.
"This time, the state administration has taken preemptive and preventive action to minimise the loss of life. So far, they have done well. So the trade-off is between inconvenience and loss of life," added the officer. "What people are not realising is the steps taken to minimise inconvenience. These decisions are not central decisions, but ones taken at the local level. The district administration is deciding by how much the restrictions can be relaxed. The situation varies from district to district."
Kansal said that medical services and the distribution of essential services is the government's top priority at the moment. He said that the availability of all drugs, including life-saving ones, have been ensured in every hospital across the Valley. The national highway continues to function normally and hundreds of heavy vehicles have been ferrying LPG and other essentials on a daily basis, he added.
Restrictions imposed on people's movement and communication links in Jammu and Kashmir are being eased out in a phased manner, while the highway connecting Jammu with Srinagar is functioning normally, a Home Ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday.
Quoting a statement of the local administration, the spokesperson said flights from the Kashmir Valley are operating normally. "The restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir are being eased out in a phased manner in the Valley and the situation in the Jammu division has been restored after assessment by relevant local authorities," the spokesperson said.