Farooq seeks audience with PM
NC president Farooq Abdullah addresses a party rally at Sher-e-Kashmir park in Srinagar on Monday, April 15 2019. Mubashir Khan/GK
Kashmir on Monday remained on the edge as fresh orders issued by Jammu and Kashmir administration officials stoked speculation about the possibility of the BJP-led government at the Centre taking a major decision with regard to the special status of the state.
As uncertainty loomed in the Valley, mainstream political parties also started making efforts to seek clarity from the Centre on the issue with National Conference president Farooq Abdullah requesting an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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The administration has issued an order directing five zonal superintendents of police to provide a list of mosques in the city and its management committees, while another, which has made its way to social media, has asked police officers to collect information about passenger capacity of taxis and fuel capacity of petrol pumps.
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Earlier, the Centre decided to send an additional 100 companies of central armed paramilitary forces (CAPFs) to the Valley.
The NC chief’s request came soon after PDP president Mehbooba Mufti requested him to convene an all party meeting for building a consensus. Abdullah is likely to convene the meeting here later this week.
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“We are hopeful of having an all party meeting in Srinagar this Thursday to discuss the current situation and also evolve a consensus on the way ahead,” he told PTI.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said he has sought an appointment with Prime Minister Modi in this regard but he is yet to hear from his office.
Also Read | Zonal SPs asked to provide list of mosques in Srinagar
“We have requested the Prime Minister for a meeting and I am hopeful to hear from his office very soon in view of the sensitive situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” Farooq said.
The situation in the Valley is tense as the fresh order directing the zonal SPs to provide the list of mosques here and its management committees has added to speculation about some major decision in the offing regarding Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
“Please provide details of mosques and their managements falling without your respective jurisdictions as per enclosed proforma to this office immediately for onward submission to higher authorities,” according an order issued by the Srinagar senior superintendent of police to the zonal SPs on Sunday night.
Besides this, the officers have been asked to provide information about the ideological affiliation of the mosque committee.
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Another order, which has found its way to social media, asks the police officers here to collect information about the passenger capacity of taxis and fuel capacity of petrol pumps in their respective areas of jurisdictions.
These orders, which were supposed to be confidential, have found their way to social media but some officers on the ground said they were yet to receive them.
These speculations have dominated the discourse in Kashmir over the past few days after the Centre decided to rush an additional 100 companies of CAPFs to the Valley.
Mainstream political parties have vowed to resist any such move to tinker with the special status.
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Construction of new security pickets in the city are also seen in the back drop of the new deployment of CAPFs in Kashmir. Several bunkers have come up in the old city here and areas frequented by tourists, including the Boulevard road along the Dal Lake. On Saturday, a letter by a Railway Protection Force (RPF) official in Budgam asking employees to stock ration for at least four months and take other steps due to “forecast of deteriorating situation” in the Kashmir Valley “for a long period” created a flutter.
“As per inputs received from different security agencies and SSP/GRP/SINA (senior superintendent of police, Government Railway Police, Srinagar) regarding forecast of deteriorating situation in Kashmir valley and issue of law and order for a long period, a precautionary security meeting was held on July 27,” the letter by Sudesh Nugyal, assistant security commissioner, RPF, Budgam, read.
The official asked the employees to take various precautionary measures like storing drinking water for seven days and fill vehicles fully to deal with the issue of law and order for a long period as there is a “forecast of deteriorating situation” in the valley. The railways, however, clarified that the communication had no basis and the official had no authority to issue it.