16/08/2019 3:48 PM IST | Updated 16/08/2019 4:31 PM IST

Govt Claims No Loss Of life Or Major Injury In Kashmir, Schools To Re-Open Next Week

There has been no loss of life or major injury in the last 12 days in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam claimed.

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A soldier holds an assault rifle as he stands alert outside the venue of India's Independence Day celebration in Srinagar, Kashmir on August 15, 2019.

Offices of the Jammu and Kashmir government were functioning normally in the Valley on Friday and schools will reopen next week, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said in a press briefing.

Subrahmanyam claimed there had been no loss of life or major injury since restrictions were imposed on August 5, when the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir was abrogated and the state was bifurcated into two Union Territories.

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The statement contradicts reports that 17-year-old drowned in a river in Srinagar’s Palpora area as he tried to escape CRPF personnel on August 5. Several publications, including Huffpost India, also reported on the use of pellet guns by security forces to quell protesters. Many victims were treated at the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital in downtown Srinagar.

In his briefing, Subrahmanyam said, “After credible inputs that terror groups were planning strikes in J&K in the immediate future, the government put in place certain preventive steps.”

“Relaxations were made on Eid for people to go out and meet their friends and relatives,” he said.


Phone lines to be restored gradually, limited restrictions 5 districts

Since August 5, the Indian government has deployed thousands of troops, arrested or detained hundreds of political leaders, severed phone lines and blacked out the internet in the region. 

The chief secretary said 12 districts in Jammu and Kashmir were functioning normally while there were limited restrictions only in five districts.

“Telecom connectivity will gradually be restored in a phased manner. Exchange by exchange, phone lines will become operational,” Subrahmanyam said.

“Schools will be opened after the weekend, area by area,” he added.


On detentions in Kashmir

Subrahmanyam said, “A few preventive detentions of individuals have been made in accordance with the law. These are being reviewed. Appropriate decisions will be taken based on law and order assessment.”

The government has refused to reveal how many people have been detained or arrested. Residents told HuffPost India that widespread night raids had been carried out by the army since August 4. Families of detainees told Reuters they did not know why they had been taken or where.

Subrahmanyam said, “The government’s focus is on the earliest return to normalcy while ensuring that terrorist forces are given no opportunity to wreak havoc as in the past.”

(With inputs from PTI)