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Kashmir: No decision yet on allowing Eid al Adha prayers in open grounds

There is a high possibility of trouble following the Eid prayers in certain areas as has been witnessed historically, officials fear

Friday August 9, 2019 9:06 PM, IANS

Bakra Eid Prayers Kashmir

[The Kashmir Valley is in the midst of unprecedented troop deployment since August 5 ahead of the Central government's decision to withdraw special category status to J&K and to bifurcate the state into two Union territories. (File photo of Eid prayers in Kashmir)]

New Delhi: With Eid al-Adha to be celebrated on Monday, the administration and security agencies have made fool-proof arrangements to ensure it goes off smoothly in Jammu and Kashmir, but are yet to take a call on whether to allow prayers in the large open grounds where thousands congregate.

Security agencies have identified at least four "hotspots" in south Kashmir, with a history of anti-India elements, ahead of August 12 when restrictions upon civilians are also likely to be lifted.

"There is a high possibility of trouble following the Eid prayers in certain areas as has been witnessed historically. Certain areas in Shopian, Pulawama and parts of Anantnag and Sopore, which have been witness to unrest in the past, have been identified," said a senior army official.

"Security agencies will conduct aggressive area domination in the locations having a history of unrest. The army will synergise with local police and troops of Central Armed Police Forces. The local police and paramilitary forces will co-ordinate for crowd control and maintaining law and order," added the official.

The Kashmir Valley is in the midst of unprecedented troop deployment since August 5 ahead of the Central government's decision to withdraw special category status to J&K and to bifurcate the state into two Union territories.

The number of cease-fire violations by Pakistan at the LoC has been drastically less in the month of August as compared to the previous month. Ceasefire violations had touched 272 till the end of July, which was the highest for any particular month this calendar year. July was incidentally the month in which Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump had met in Washington DC.

"The number of ceasefire violations has been surprisingly low over the past one week. We are however expecting an increase in infiltration attempts from across the PoK into India in the light of veiled threats from Pakistan. But we are prepared for any contingency," said the official.

Following the decision of the Indian Parliament to read down Article 370 and withdraw special status to J&K, Imran Khan had warned of another "Pulawama-type incident".

Addressing a joint session of the Pakistani Parliament, Khan had said: "Through this move, they are trying to crush the people of Kashmir, as a result of which a Pulawama type incident will happen. I can predict that. They will put the blame on us if such an incident happens again. They may strike us again and we will strike back and it would have grave consequences for the entire world."

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