NEW DELHI :
Kashmir appeared limping back to normalcy with some primary schools reopening on Monday as part of an easing of restrictions.
This was the first such step in nearly 15 days since the central government imposed prohibitory orders and a communication blackout ahead of the withdrawal of Jammu & Kashmir’s special status.
However, while teachers reported to work in many schools of the Kashmir region, not many students turned up fearing violence, the Press Trust of India reported.
Schools in the valley have been shut for over a fortnight now and the administration is hopeful that the reopening would help improve the situation.
The developments in Jammu and Kashmir also resonated in Delhi as home minister Amit Shah chaired a meeting with National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and members of the Intelligence Bureau and senior officials of the home ministry.
Doval briefed Shah about his 10-day visit to Kashmir after the Centre scrapped provisions of Article 370 and reorganized the erstwhile state into two Union territories—J&K and Ladakh.
Senior officials of the home ministry said that in the course of the meeting, there was a discussion about lifting some more restrictions, including restoring mobile phone connections and internet services but no decision was taken. There was also a discussion about the ongoing detention of political leaders.
“This is only the first day and we do not have much information on the developments on the ground. We do not know what is happening, we can only hope for the best for the future," said Ellora Puri, a Jammu- based political analyst.
The security situation on the ground has remained tense since the Centre’s 6 August legislative move, with the Union government imposing strict restrictions, curfews and detentions of mainstream political as well as separatist leaders.
PTI quoted officials as saying the government had made the necessary arrangements for reopening of 190 primary schools in Srinagar city but all private schools in the city remained shut for the 15th consecutive day as parents were apprehensive about the security situation in view of violent protests flaring over the past two days. It added that markets in the valley were shut on Monday, public transport remained off roads but movement of private vehicles increased after easing of some restrictions.
While Congress party has been faced with diverse public opinions by its own leaders on revocation of Article 370, senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday demanded that the decision be reversed, political prisoners be released and normalcy restored at the earliest.
PTI contributed to this story.