By Shuriah Niazi
New Delhi (AA) – Low-key Eid celebrations were reported in India administered Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, as authorities kept strict vigil.
Prayers were offered in small mosques, as the region continued in lockdown, since Indian government repealed a special constitutional provision granting special status. All communications in the province remained cut off for the eighth day.
Prayers were not allowed at major mosques in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Large gatherings stayed banned across the Kashmir Valley, said NDTV, a private TV network.
A government statement said that some reasonable restrictions were imposed to foil designs of terrorists, militants and mischievous elements, out to disturb public order and peace.
“People gathered in large numbers at local mosques to offer prayers and greet each other,” the statement claimed.
It further said that there were some minor localized protests of a routine nature, which is not unknown in Jammu and Kashmir.
“There have been some isolated incidents of stone pelting, again at an insignificant level. Police handled these locally and dispersed the protesters. There are no major injuries barring one or two individuals,” the statement further said.
Indian Home Ministry also claimed in a tweet that prayers went off peacefully in Kashmir. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval stationed in the region, visited many parts of Srinagar city, to assess the situation on ground.
Countering government claim, a former top official, now an independent politician Shah Faesal described the situation unprecedentedly abnormal.
“There is no Eid. Kashmiris across the world are mourning against the illegal annexation of their land,” tweeted Shah Faesal.
He said there would not be any celebrations, till people in Kashmir do not get back, what was stolen from them.
Meanwhile, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) criticized former Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram for his remarks that the special provision was revoked, because Kashmir was a Muslim-dominated region. Chidambaram, who is also a senior opposition Congress party leader. said the government would not have touched the provision, if Kashmir was a Hindu majority province.
The lone Muslim minister in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi charged the former minister for give a communal color to the decision. “What he has said is an attempt to give communal color to the issue, even though the decision is in national interest.”