Probably for the first time in 26 years since the militancy began in Kashmir, curfew will be imposed in all 10 districts on the day of Eid festival on Tuesday. Drones and helicopters will be used for surveillance in the Valley.
Government sources said security forces will be out on the streets in adequate strength following apprehension of violence by the separatist elements, who often use women and children as “shields” during protest rallies resulting in civilian casualties.
This is for the first time in 26 years that no Eid congregations will be held at the Idgah and Hazratbal shrines in the Valley.
The government has already ordered shutdown of Internet services of all telecom networks and also mobile telephony except that of the state-run BSNL for the next 72 hours because of the tense law and order situation in the state.
However, post-paid BSNL connections, which are mainly used by police, army and government officials, have been kept out of the purview of the ban, the sources said.
Mobile telephony was banned immediately after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8 which set off the current spiral of violence in the Valley. It was partially restored on July 27 followed by opening of only broadband Internet.
Meanwhile, separatists are bracing up for a major showdown with the Mehbooba Mufti-led government over the ‘azadi’ march to United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan on the day of Eid festival on Tuesday.
The state government, on the other hand, has decided to strictly enforce prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC across the Valley with the support of the army.
Sources in security establishment in Delhi said instructions have been issued to keep the Eid namaaz a local affair to keep the congregations to the minimum. The state government is unlikely to allow congregations for Eid namaaz at Idgahs as they can accommodate thousands of people.
Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), an alliance of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani, moderate Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF leader Mohammad Yasin Malik, which is supervising the current agitation, has called for ‘Azadi march’ towards central Eidgahs followed by a procession towards UN office for submitting a memorandum to be conveyed to 71st Session of General Assembly of United Nations starting on September 13.
After putting a large number of army boots on the ground to help state police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) retrieve areas in their control, Centre is hopeful of quelling the 66-day-long violent unrest within 10 days.