[From iftaar to sehri - the time during which Muslims are allowed to eat during Ramzan - there is much festivity in Kashmir Haat at Srinagar's Lal Chowk. (File photo)]
New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government in New Delhi on Wednesday asked security forces not to launch operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan, also called as Ramadan. The decision has been taken to help local Muslims observe Ramzan fast in a peaceful environment, a home ministry spokesperson said.
"The security forces, however, reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people", the ministry said.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has informed Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti of the central government's decision.
"It is important to isolate the forces that bring a bad name to Islam by resorting to mindless violence and terror," the spokesperson said.
The government expects everyone to cooperate in this initiative and help the Muslim brothers and sisters to observe Ramzan peacefully and without any difficulties, the spokesperson said.
"It's a very good news. I hope that everybody supports this initiative,” Mehbooba Mufti said while responding to the government's decision. Mufti had earlier appealed the Modi government to halt military operations during Ramzan.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah also welcomed announcement of the ceasefire. “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 wrote on Twitter.
The holy moth of Ramzan in India is likely to start tomorrow or Friday depending on the sighting of moon. Saudi Arabia and other GCC states, and also countries like Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Australia, Singapore, Turkey and Egypt have already declared Thursday May 17 as the first day of Ramadan.
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