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Ramzan in J&K: Forces to halt operations but not lower guard; top updates

Business Standard Ramzan in J&K: Forces to halt operations but not lower guard; top updates

Suspension of operations against militants in Jammu and Kashmir during Ramzan is not a concession to extremists but an effort to create an environment free of terror

BS Web Team | New Delhi Last Updated at May 16, 2018 22:54 IST

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Kashmir unrest File photo of security personnel standing guard during restrictions and strike call given by separatist groups against civilian killings in Srinagar.
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Security forces in Jammu and Kashmir have been ordered not to launch operations during the holy month of Ramzan, which starts from Thursday. The Centre on Wednesday told security forces not to launch operations during the holy month of Ramadan. The decision was taken "to help the peace-loving Muslims observe Ramzan in a peaceful environment", a Home Ministry statement said on Wednesday. Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti about the decision. The suspension of operations against militants in Jammu and Kashmir during Ramzan is not a concession to extremists but an effort to create an environment free of terror and violence during the holy month, officials said on Wednesday, while asserting there will be no lowering of guard. The central government has been try ing to create an environment free of terror and violence to enable Muslims to observe Ramzan in a peaceful manner and in a conducive environment so that terrorists do not exploit their religious sentiments, a home ministry official said, explaining the reason behind the government decision. Motivated by this consideration, the government has issued instructions to the security forces and Army not to undertake offensive operations during Ramzan in Jammu and Kashmir, the official said. However, if it is essential for protecting the life of the common people, the security forces will be compelled to take appropriate action. It is expected that all Muslim brothers and sisters who follow the true tenets of Islam will cooperate in ensuring the success of this initiative, the official said. Earlier today, the Home Ministry in a major announcement said security forces will not launch any operations in Jammu and Kashmir during Ramzan, a move seen as a bid to bring peace in the restive valley. Another official said it is a matter of regret that over the last few years, terrorists have indulged in large-scale bloodshed not only in India but also in other parts of the world during the holy month. This has caused immense sufferings to peace-loving Muslims adhering to the true tenets of Islam. People belonging to other communities have also suffered, the official said. "The government of India wants that during the ensuing month of Ramzan, no section of society and in particular, the peace-loving Muslim community should face any difficulty. It is important that all peace-loving people come together to isolate the terrorists and motivate those who have been misguided to return to the path of peace," the official said. The fasting month of Ramzan is would start and ends with the celebration of Eid. Top 10 development on Modi govt's conditional ceasefire in Jammu & Kashmir during Ramzan 1. Suspension of operations in JK no concessi on to militants; no lowering of guard, say officials: The suspension of operations against militants in Jammu and Kashmir during Ramzan is not a concession to extremists but an effort to create an environment free of terror and violence during the holy month, officials said on Wednesday, while asserting there will be no lowering of guard. "This is not a concession to militants. This is aimed at people not to have any difficulty during the holy month of Ramzan. All right-thinking people want peace, youngsters want education, good life. Hope militants will not make it difficult for people. There will be no lowering of guard during this period," the official said. "Ramzan is in true sense, the month of worship, purity and peace. It should be our collective endeavour to isolate those who bring a bad name to Islam by their senseless acts of terror and violence,รข€ he added. 2. Hope all in Kashmir will r eciprocate Centre's peace move, says BJP: The BJP today expressed hope that the Centre's decision to stop operations of security forces in Jammu and Kashmir during Ramzan will be reciprocated by all in the valley.

"We welcome the prudent decision taken by Hon'ble PM and HM with a profound hope that this gesture will be reciprocated by one and all in the valley (and it) will witness peace during d holy month of Ramazan (sic)," BJP's General Secretary Ram Madhav tweeted.

Madhav is the BJP's pointsman for Jammu and Kashmir, where his party is a junior partner to the PDP in the government.

ALSO READ: Farooq Abdullah hails Centre's decision on Ramzan 3. Separatists tight-lipped, Kashmiris rejoice: Separatist leaders remained tight-lipped but the common man was overjoyed. "Believe me, I have not been able sleep in peace during the last many months due to the impeding danger of an encounter in our area. The decision has come as a great relief and ordinary Kashmiris like me only hope the decision is reciprocated by militants," said a resident of Pulwama district who did not want to be named. In Srinagar, there was elation. "This was the most immediate requirement for indicating a mindset favouring a dialogue rather than violence. Ramadan has created another ray of hope for us," said Firdous Ahmad, a shopkeeper in the city's uptown area. Transporters, shopkeepers, businessmen and even pavement sellers were happy. ALSO READ: Kashmiris hail ceasefire announcement 4. Mufti, Omar welcome Modi govt's decision on ceasefire during Ramzan: Mufti and opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah welcomed the Centre's decision to not launch any security operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan. "I wholeheartedly welcome the Ram adan ceasefire & would like to thank @narendramodi ji & @rajnathsingh ji for their personal intervention. My gratitude also to the leaders & parties who participated in the All Party Meeting & helped build consensus towards this announcement," Mehbooba said in a tweet following the Centre's announcement. She said Ramzan is a harbinger of peace and such a decision will go a long way in creating a peaceful and amicable environment for a sustained dialogue. Omar said if the militants did not respond in kind to the Centre's unilateral halt on operations during the month of Ramzan, they will be exposed as enemies of the people. "On the demand of all political parties (except the BJP, which had opposed it) the Centre has announced a unilateral ceasefire. Now if the militants don't respond in kind, they will stand exposed as the true enemies of the people," he said in a tweet. Mehbooba Mufti told Centre to consider ceasefi re during Ramzan: Last week, Mufti said the central government should consider a unilateral ceasefire in the state starting from Ramzan in mid May till the completion of the Amarnath yatra in August. She made the remarks after chairing a four-hour all-party meeting, which was convened to discuss the present situation in the Kashmir Valley. 5. Citizens group supports demand for ceasefire in J&K during Ramzan: A group of citizens, including former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha and former Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, extended support to Mufti's call for a unilateral ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir during the month of Ramzan till completion of the Amarnath Yatra. In a statement issued here, the Concerned Citizens' Group said it strongly endorses the joint demand of the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir for a ceasefire during the sacred month of Ramzan. "The security forces must o bserve the ceasefire strictly and should fire only when fired upon," it said. The group said the government of India must initiate a purposeful dialogue, in the meanwhile, with all stakeholders in a time-bound manner. They appealed to people to abjure violence during Ramzan and Amarnath Yatra. ALSO READ: Citizens group supports Mehbooba Mufti's demand for ceasefire in J-K during Ramzan 6. BJP's J&K unit opposed Mufti's proposal: While the Centre has agreed to Mufti's proposal and announced ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir during Ramzan, the BJP Jammu and Kashmir unit had opposed it last week. The party's state unit said militants were demoralised due to Army action and a unilateral ceasefire would ease pressure and allow them to re-energise. BJP slams Mufti for being 'soft' on stone pelters: The BJP spokespersons described the situation in the Kashmir Valley as "very se rious" and said the soft policy of the Mehbooba Mufti government was responsible for it. "Security situations is very serious...in Kashmir, stone pelting is continuously on and unfortunately one tourist has lost his life," he said. 7. Jitendra Singh says parties advocating ceasefire playing politics over Ramzan: On Saturday, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said parties advocating a unilateral ceasefire by the Centre in Jammu and Kashmir are playing politics over Ramzan. He asserted that the government had a consistent policy with regard to Pakistan and terrorism. "I want to ask a question to those who are suggesting a unilateral ceasefire whether they are true followers of Islam? As long as we understand Islam and Holy Quran, those who observe fast it is imperative for them not to indulge in any type of violence or harm anyone. Instead of advising them (militants), suggesting others means that you are not faithful to Ramzan but you are playi ng politics over it, Singh said. 8. Omar slams Mufti on ceasefire call: National Conference (NC) working president Omar Abdullah hit out at Mufti, saying she would "shamelessly cling to power even as her party's alliance partner BJP did not agree with her. Taking to Twitter, Omar said, What was the point of @MehboobaMufti calling an all party meeting to build a consensus around initiatives in Kashmir when her ally in the Govt doesn't agree with her! Yet she will shamelessly cling to power because that's all that matters to her. 9. Tourist from Chennai killed in stone pelting: A 22-year-old tourist from Tamil Nadu died in Srinagar last week when a mob went on the rampage near Narbal on the outskirts of the city, police said. Thirumani and his family were returning from Gulmarg, about 50 km from summer capital Sringar, when their vehicle was caught in stone pelting near Magam area of Budgam. A stone hit the young man on his right temple and he was rushed to the Soura Institute of Medical Sciences where he died. The tourist was taken to the SKIMS hospital at Soura, where he succumbed to injuries, the official added. A case was registered and investigations have been taken up in the matter, the official said.

10. Condition in Kashmir deteriorated in three years, says Omar: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had earlier said the condition in Kashmir Valley has deteriorated in last three years.

He made this remark while commenting on a tourist's death due to stone pelting in his assembly constituency

"We are proud of our hospitality and we talk about it to the world. But, what happened is nothing but sad and shameful. Unfortunately, in last three years, the condition in Kashmir Valley has deteriorated," Abdullah told ANI.

Soon after his death, Abdull ah had tweeted: "This young man from Chennai died in my constituency & while I don't support these goons, their methods or their ideology I'm deeply, deeply sorry that this happened at all & that too in an area I've been proud to represent since 2014."

In another tweet, he said, "The J&K Govt has failed, the CM has failed, the BJP-PDP alliance has failed. How much blood will have to be shed in Kashmir before the Hon PM realises the gravity of the situation in J&K? When will enough finally be enough?"

First Published: Wed, May 16 2018. 22:52 IST
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