Jammu and Kashmir administration mulling to ease restrictions across Valley; govt offices, schools functional from next week

The Jammu and Kashmir administration is mulling to ease restrictions across the Valley and taking steps to make all government offices and schools functional from next week, a senior official said here on Friday. We have already eased the restrictions in most parts of the Valley. The restrictions will be further relaxed, depending on the situation obtaining in Kashmir, he said. The official said the situation, which was being monitored on a real-time basis, has remained peaceful in all the areas of the Valley so far. We are making arrangements that all government offices start functioning normally from Monday (August 19), he official said, adding that the administration was also looking at the possibility of opening the schools across the Valley from next week. He said the district administration will take a call on any changes in the restrictions or opening of schools based on the situation in their respective areas of jurisdiction. The official said no decision has been yet taken on restoring the telecommunication facilities in the Valley. Even if the telephone services are to be restored, it will be done in a phased manner, he added. Meanwhile, Kashmir remained shut for the 12th consecutive day on Friday even as authorities relaxed the restrictions in this summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, allowing people to move around relatively freely for the first time since the Centre abrogated provisions of Article 370 and divided the state into two union territories. He said while the deployment of the security forces on ground remains as earlier, people are being allowed to move around the city and other towns. Kashmir was placed under a total clampdown on August 5, hours before Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced in Rajya Sabha that the special status for the state had been revoked. The state administration has directed, through a radio announcement, the government employees to report at work from Friday. However, the communication clampdown continues to remain in place as all telephone and internet services remained suspended. While schools have remained shut for the past two weeks, shops and other business establishments have also been closed since August 5.