J&K restrictions to be eased in phased manner; not a single life lost during curfew: Chief Secretary

The press briefing by the Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary comes hours ahead of "informal consultations" by the United Nations Security Council in New York today.

There has been no loss of life and restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir will be eased in a gradual manner in the coming days, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said on Friday. “There has not been a single loss of life or single injuries to anyone during the course of maintaining peace. We are now taking measures to ease the restrictions in a gradual manner. There will be easing of restrictions in the coming days in an orderly way,” he told reporters in Srinagar today.

This briefing comes hours ahead of “informal consultations” by the United Nations Security Council in New York today.

The chief secretary also provided details on the steps taken by the government to ensure zero or minimum inconvenience to locals. “Steps were taken (during the curfew) to ensure there was no shortage of medical services and supplies. Pilgrims going to Haj and returning were facilitated,” Subrahmanyam said.

“Periodically, there were relaxations in some of these restrictions to enable them the people to come out for their daily requirements. A sufficient number of passes were issued to the media to ensure their movement. Telecom connectivity will be gradually eased and restored in a phased manner,” he added.

Twelve districts in the state were now functioning normally and that limited restrictions were in place in only five districts, he said.

The official also said that the offices of the Jammu and Kashmir government were functioning normally in the Valley on Friday while schools will reopen next week. “The movement of public transport will be allowed in areas around schools. Government offices were fully operational today and attendance was in full high,” he said.

The state administration is mulling to ease restrictions across the Valley and reopen government offices and schools from next week, a senior official had told PTI earlier in the day. “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.

“We are making arrangements that all government offices start functioning normally from Monday (August 19),” the official said, adding that the administration was also looking at the possibility of opening the schools across the Valley from next week.

Kashmir remained shut for the 12th consecutive day today 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.

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