Curfew Relaxed In Phased Manner In Jammu

JAMMU — Residents of Jammu Tuesday thronged markets to buy essential commodities as authorities here relaxed curfew in a phased manner in the winter capital, where it was imposed on Friday following widespread anti-Pakistan protests and mob violence against Kashmiris.

Jammu District Magistrate Ramesh Kumar initially ordered relaxation of curfew in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of Nawabad police station, Jammu city and Peer Mitha from 11.30 am to 1.30 pm, followed by relaxation in the areas of bus stand police station, Pacca Danga, Bakshi Nagar and Janipur from 3pm to 5 pm.
Later, the curfew was relaxed in the entire south Jammu from 3.30 pm to 7 pm.

"The relaxation was given in view of the improvement in the situation which remains well under control. There was no report of any untoward incident from anywhere," Kumar told reporters here.

However, he said prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC remained in force in the entire city as a precautionary measure and nobody would be allowed to gather or take out processions.

All wine shops and bars would remain closed in the entire district till further orders, he said.

The district magistrate said the situation is returning to normal and a decision to lift the curfew and restore mobile internet services would be taken after review of the situation, especially during the night.

Soon after policemen deployed in the curfew-bound areas announced relaxation through the public address system, people heaved a sigh of relief and thronged markets to buy essential commodities.

Long queues of customers were witnessed at petrol pumps, domestic gas outlets, vegetable and wholesale markets and people were seen buying items of daily use.

"The response of the people is good and wherever there was shortage of essential commodities clear cut directions have been given to meet the demand of the people. The ATMs were made functional and gas cylinders and ration were also made available so that the people could not face any problem," Kumar said.

He asked people not to pay heed to the rumours and said strict action was being taken against rumour mongers.

"The cyber cell of police is performing its duties and people (spreading rumours or inciting hatred by their posts on social media) have been identified. An investigation is underway and some arrests have also been made," Kumar said.

"Nobody will be allowed to misuse social media and harm communal harmony," he said.

Ajay Kumar, a resident of old city, said the relaxation came as a great relief as the people faced a lot of problems due to the continued curfew over the past four days.

"We were running short of essential commodities and could not provide milk to the children," he said while buying fresh vegetables at a market.

Kishore Sharma, another local resident, prayed for early restoration of peace and said, "Jammuites are living in communal harmony and does not believe in violence." 

In another development, the Jammu University announced postponement of all examinations till February 21 in view of the prevailing situation.

Advisors to Governor Satya Pal Malik met him at the Raj Bhavan Monday evening and briefed him on the prevailing law and order situation in the aftermath of the Pulwama incident.

The governor discussed with advisors issues related to effective maintenance of law and order and directed them that no anti-social element should be allowed to disturb peace and harmony in the state.

He also directed availability of essential commodities, medicines etc. be ensured by the administration.

"All the examinations of the university of Jammu scheduled to be held on February 19, 20 and 21 stand postponed due to unavoidable circumstances," varsity spokesperson Vinay Thusoo said.

He said fresh dates for conducting the postponed exams would be notified later.

Meanwhile, high-speed internet was restored in Poonch and Rajouri districts, after media reports regarding problems faced by the traders and students among others due to internet blockade.

Sources said internet was being restored in Jammu also, five days after it was snapped in wake of the clashes and attacks on Kashmiris in the state’s winter capital and other districts of Jammu division.

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