Doval visits Shopian, shares meal with locals, policemen

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 8/8/2019 11:55:37 AM

SRINAGAR, Aug 7: Amid curfew and communication lockdown, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who is in Kashmir to review security situation, on Wednesday met and interacted with the locals in south Kashmir's Shopian district.
Doval also had lunch with the locals on a deserted road in Shopian. The NSA also met security personnel in Shopian.
Earlier, the NSA met Governor Satya Pal Malik to discuss the security situation prevailing in the state as well as outside in the aftermath of the developments in Parliament relating to Jammu and Kashmir.
Both of them stressed the need to ensure the safety of the public and emphasised on constant alertness, preparedness and synergy among various departments in order to deal with any unforeseen situation, an official spokesperson said.
Doval flew to Kashmir day after the BJP government announced the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the state into two union territories.
Doval directed the officials in Kashmir to ensure that common people do not face any hardships during curfew and restrictions. He also directed the officials to ensure smooth supply of essential food items and provide emergency assistance on a priority basis.
Jammu and Kashmir has been under strict curfew, with all means of communication suspended in wake of scrapping of Article 370.
Today Doval while undertaking a whirlwind visit to the militancy-infested South Kashmir, assured the locals that their security was the government's responsibility. He is reaching out to the local population in the Valley as a Confidence Building Measure (CMB).
“Everything will be alright. Your safety and security is our responsibility,” Doval told people in Shopian district.
An unprecedented security cover and several restrictions are in place in Kashmir. All modes of communication have been snapped in the Valley. Doval was seen eating food on a footpath outside closed shops and talking to locals.
He exchanged views with them on the security situation and the government's decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories.
“Your children and their children will continue to live here. They will make their name in the world,” the NSA told people.
He also met policemen in the area and praised their role in the containing the situation in the state for the past several years. “Jammu and Kashmir Police is one of the best police forces. It has a special place for us,” Doval told the policemen. Later, videos of Doval, flanked by Director General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir, Dilbagh Singh, interacting with locals and policemen went viral on social media.
In the meanwhile, agencies reports quoting a senior official of the state administration said some shops had opened in Srinagar and the movement of people on the roads had picked up despite the restrictions, adding that the “situation is comfortable now.” Stating that there were “very few incidents of stone-pelting”, he said people were moving on two-wheelers and cars as well. The official said the authorities were extending assistance to those who had a marriage in the family.
Several video clips from Kashmir have gone viral on social media platforms showing people opening shops, walking, driving motorcycles and cars on the roads of Srinagar. One clip showed people purportedly from the border district of Kupwara saying they wanted peace and were happy at the decision of the government to abrogate the provisions of Article 370 in the state as it would remove political corruption. They also said the situation was peaceful in their area.
Ratan Lal Zutshi, a Kulgam resident, said the situation was peaceful and the highway traffic normal as he drove from Srinagar to Jammu. Private taxi drivers were fleecing people, mostly outsiders, by charging them Rs 2,500-3,000 per person to drop them at Jammu, but instead, they were being dropped at the Jawahar tunnel, Zutshi said.



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