Kashmir opens for visitors

Jammu and Kashmir opens for visitors from Thursday two months after an advisory was announced asking tourists to leave the Valley due to “terror threat”.

The Governor Satya Pal Malik announced the decision to lift the curb on Monday following a “situation cum-security review” gathering with the advisers and the chief secretary.

Kashmir opens for visitors, The Centre had, on August 2, cancelled the Amarnath Yatra and told travellers and tourists to cut short their visit in the Valley “immediately” because of the “intelligence information of terror threat ”, days ere the repeal of Article 370 that provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

In different movement, the administration re-opened more important secondary schools, colleges and universities on Wed.

In Srinagar, defence forces were placed outside the prestigious Sri Pratap College and were supporting students on the campus after checking their identity cards. “I came here to get the study material and not to attend the classes. The teachers told us that the classes could only start once the situation becomes normal,” said a chemistry student, who did not wish to be named.

Restrictions, imposed in the aftermath of Centre’s August 5 move to abolish Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, have been lifted in phases in the past two months. But a shutdown against the government’s move continues while mobile and internet services remain blocked mainly.

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah were allowed to meet party delegation in Srinagar on October 6. The Abdullahs along with PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti has been in detention since August.

The administration has also decided to hold Block Development Council elections on October 24, the first electoral process in Jammu and Kashmir since August 5.

The Congress, however, has decided to boycott these elections citing the continued detention of political leaders. “Congress believes in strengthening democratic institutions, and it has never shied away from any polls. But today, we are compelled to decide to boycott the BDC polls due to the callous attitude of the state administration

and the continued retention of senior party leaders in the Valley,” J&K Congress chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir said.

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