February 2019 News

Life Limping Back To Normal In Jammu

20 February 2019
Greater Kashmir
Sameed Kakroo

Jammu: Though most business establishments continued to remain shut in Jammu Wednesday, many shopkeepers opened their outlets after the authorities ordered relaxation in curfew across the district for the first time since it was imposed on Friday. 'Since the situation has improved and no untoward incident was reported since Sunday, we ordered relaxation in curfew across the district,' district magistrate Jammu Ramesh Kumar told Greater Kashmir. However, prohibitory orders remained in force to maintain law and order, he said. 'Prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC would remain in force in the entire city as a precautionary measure,' he said. Relaxation in curfew was initially ordered Wednesday from 8 am to 11 am, but it was subsequently extended to 3 pm, then to 5 pm and later until 7.30 pm as the district slowly limped back to normal, an official said. In the morning hours, policemen made rounds across the district and announced relaxation in curfew, urging people to resume their normal activities. While some shops and business establishments remained open, public transport continued to remain off the roads for the sixth consecutive day. Only private vehicles were seen plying throughout the day. Scores of people thronged shops to buy essentials. Most ATMs witnessed a heavy rush of people, while some residents complained of shortage of milk, ration and vegetables in the markets. Meanwhile, following a government order, all educational institutions-government as well as private-remained shut for the sixth consecutive day. 'The examinations of classes 8 and 9 would be held as per schedule on Thursday across the Jammu province. In case of restrictions in any area, the admit cards of students and identity cards of teachers will be treated as curfew passes,' an official said. Moreover, the Jammu and Kashmir board of school education (BOSE), Jammu, postponed the class 12 examinations, scheduled to be held on February 23 and 26. 'It is hereby notified that examinations pertaining to higher secondary part-II (class 12th) regular annual session (summer zone) Jammu division, scheduled to be held on February 23 and 26 have been postponed,' an official said, adding that fresh dates for the deferred examinations shall be notified separately. However, he said, rest of the papers-scheduled March 1, 2019 onwards-shall be held as per the date-sheet already notified. Furthermore, 2G internet services were again restored in Jammu district for more than an hour on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the government restored the 2G internet services across the Jammu province, except Jammu district, where only BSNL broadband continued to function. Also, the Jammu University remained shut again on Wednesday. Pertinently, curfew was imposed across the Jammu district on Friday following massive anti-Pakistan protests and sporadic incidents of violence over a militant attack in Lethpora, Pulwama, which left more than 40 CRPF personnel dead. On Tuesday, the government relaxed curfew from 11.30am to 1.30pm in areas under Jammu city, Nowabad and Peer Mitha police stations. Besides, relaxation was given for two hours (3 pm to 5 pm) in the northern areas under Bus Stand, Bakshi Nagar, Pacca-Danga and Janipur police stations. Similarly, in southern areas, curfew was relaxed for three-and-a-half hours (3.30pm-7pm) under Gandhi Nagar, Bagh-e-Bahu, Satwari, Channi Himmat, Gangyal and Trikuta Nagar police stations. The areas included Gujjar Nagar and Janipur, from where reports of violence, arson and vandalism were reported on Friday. Asked whether curfew will continue, the district magistrate Jammu, said: 'The decision on relaxation of curfew and its timings will be taken on Thursday morning, after taking the inputs of Wednesday night into consideration'. All educational institutions-government as well as private, up to class 12-will remain open from Thursday onwards. All colleges in the district shall continue to remain closed, he said. Meanwhile, Jammu University will also open on Thursday. 'All the offices of the University shall remain functional on Thursday. However, no classes shall be held on Thursday, while the examinations scheduled to be held on Thursday have been postponed, as notified earlier,' Vinay Thusoo, a spokesman Jammu University, said. Meanwhile, the employees of the civil secretariat called off their strike on Wednesday. The employees had been on strike since Monday after mobs pelted their residences with stones, damaged their cars and vandalised properties on Friday. Ghulam Rasool, president secretariat employees association, told Greater Kashmir, 'We have called off the strike after separate meetings with advisor Vijay Kumar, commissioner, home department, and transport commissioner, which were held in the secretariat on Wednesday. If there is no curfew on Thursday, we will go to office.' He said the government has assured them that the employees who want to go back to Kashmir will be provided protection and official vehicles from Thursday onwards. 'They told us that 10 vehicles would be provided now and more will be arranged soon for ferrying the employees home,' he said. He added that if weather permits, 'we will go back to Kashmir from Thursday'. While talking about the issues discussed in the meetings, Rasool said the government assured that what happened in Gujjar Nagar and Janipur localities 'will never happen again'. 'They assured us that the security lapses will be looked into. They also informed us that extra police protection will continue to be given to our localities to thwart any violence,' he said.