New Delhi, Aug 13: Asserting that restrictions in the Kashmir Valley were put in place to avoid loss of human lives, the foremost priority, a top government official on Tuesday said these impositions on people's movement and communications are being eased out in a phased manner.
The official also asserted that these restrictions will only be removed after an assessment by local authorities and added that political leaders like former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, who were arrested as a "preventive measure", will also be released by the J&K administration only after assessing the ground situation.
"If the trade-off is between inconvenience and loss of life, if the trade-off is between peddling fake news leading to loss of life and people's inconvenience, what should we choose? However, the administration is mindful of the difficulties being faced by people and trying to minimise the inconvenience. Any such decision (removal of restrictions) will be taken only after an assessment by the local administration," the official said.
A Home Ministry spokesperson said as per the J&K administration, restrictions imposed on people's movement and communication links in the Kashmir Valley are being eased out in a phased manner and the normal situation in the Jammu division has been restored after assessment by relevant local authorities.
In Srinagar, Principal Secretary in the J&K, Rohit Kansal, told a press conference that the administration was hopeful of further relaxation in the security clampdown after the dress rehearsal for the August 15 Independence Day celebrations conclude in various districts.
Kansal said prohibitory conditions were relaxed in various parts of Kashmir and the Jammu region was "almost entirely" free of restrictions.
"Restrictions, however, do continue in parts of Kashmir," he said.
Kansal said the curbs would be relaxed in parts of the Valley in a phased manner based on the assessment of local authorities.
The security clampdown was imposed last week after the Union government revoked J&K's special status given under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated the state into two Union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
The top government official said in New Delhi that this was not the first time restrictions were imposed in the Valley and a similar situation had existed in 2016, following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani after which the separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference called 'hartals' for weeks.
"This time the state administration has taken pre-emptive steps to minimise the violence and loss of lives. This is an extra-ordinary situation," the official explained.
Steps have been taken so that there is minimum inconvenience to people, that include ease of travel to hospitals, opening of markets and distribution of food at doorsteps, the official asserted.
"The whole effort is to bring normalcy as early as possible. However, any law and order decision should be best left to the local administration," the official said.
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Bengaluru, Aug 19: Former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Monday said he was not afraid of any probe into the phone tapping allegations, as he accused the BJP government of running a "transfer business" in the State.
The JDS leader's statement triggered a war of words with chief minister B Yeddiyurappa's son B Y Vijayendra saying it was not appropriate to make "baseless allegations."
Yediyurappa, however, said he was not going to react to the charges.
"Why do you want to put words in my mouth? May God bless him. The whole world knows what he has done..," he told reporters.
It all started with Kumaraswamy's purported statement on Sunday that Yediyurappa had left his sons to run the 'transfer businesses' as reported by some news channels.
Taking a serious note of it, Vijayendra tweeted the clipping of Kumaraswamy's statement as it appeared in a Kannada news channel, which read that Yediyurappa has "let his son loose to run the transfer business."
"...You cannot pass the buck on somebody else for your deeds. Stop trying to mislead the people through falsehood just because you are scared of the CBI probe into the telephone tapping case," he said.
Vijayendra also tweeted links to news reports that claimed the then PWD minister H D Revanna had transferred 700 officials on a single day last year when Kumaraswamy was the chief minister.
Later, speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Vijayendra slammed Kumaraswamy for making "baseless allegations" against him and his family.
"It is not appropriate to make baseless allegations against me and our family. It does not befit his stature," Vijayendra said.
He challenged Kumaraswamy to make the facts public if he has evidence to back his claim.
"People have seen how during your tenure governance had collapsed due to the involvement of your family. People of the state have seen how 700 staff in the PWD were given promotion and transferred," Vijayendra said.
Reacting, Kumarasawmy cautioned chief minister Yediyurappa to keep his children "within their limits."
He alleged that the chief ministers residence has turned into a "transfer market" these days.
Speaking about the governments intention to conduct a CBI probe into the alleged phone tapping, Kumaraswamy said he was not scared of any probe because he did not do anything wrong.
However, he asked the chief minister not to fix innocent people only to take revenge on him.
Days after phone tapping allegations during the previous Congress-JDS coalition government surfaced, Yediyurappa on Sunday said he will order a CBI probe citing demands by several political leaders including from the Congress.