Jammu and Kashmir tourist curbs to be lifted from Thursday

Jammu and Kashmir tourist curbs to be lifted from Thursday

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Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik directed the state’s home department on Monday to lift a two-month-old advisory that asked tourists to leave the region citing a terror threat, according to an official statement.

The J&K administration had issued the security advisory on August 2 to ask Amarnath Yatra pilgrims and tourists to “curtail their stay immediately”. The move came three days before the Union government moved to revoke the special status of the state and bifurcate it into two Union territories – Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Malik, who has been holding daily meetings to review the situation in J&K since the Centre’s move, directed on Monday that the advisory be lifted immediately. “This will be done with effect from October 10,” the statement released by the administration on Monday evening said.

Discontent has simmered in Jammu & Kashmir since the early hours of August 5, when phone and internet communications were suspended and restrictions clamped on public movement. The government also detained hundreds of political activists, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.

The government has said that restrictions have since been lifted in many areas of the state.

“Initially, the meetings focused on reviewing the security scenario following the imposition of restrictions after constitutional changes that were made. For the past six weeks, all the security restrictions were removed in most parts of J&K, the governor has been focusing on bringing life back to normal,” the administration said after the meeting, which was also attended by the chief secretary.

“Some of the major decisions taken in the past include reopening of higher secondary schools; colleges and universities; restarting public transport; opening 25 internet kiosks in each district…,” it added.

The governor also discussed the upcoming block development council elections that will be held on October 24. “The governor was informed that there is active interest in the BDC elections and most of the seats of chairpersons of BDCs would be filled… The governor was also briefed about the progress in apple procurement, which has crossed 850 tonne and worth ~3.25 crore,” the administration said.

J&K Police chief Dilbag Singh said recently that 200-300 militants are active in the state.__Hindustan Times

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