New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who has been keeping a close watch on security for over a week in Jammu and Kashmir and mingling with the people in the Valley, on Monday sat down with the J&K police personnel and officers for a ‘bara khana’ (meal with jawans) at the police control room on the occasion of Eid.
Doval, who has been visiting different parts of the Valley, including the troubled hot-spots of Anantnag, Sopore and Shopian, for the past week, went on an aerial survey of Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir Valley. He later interacted and greeted J&K Police officers and personnel on the occasion of Eid, after which he joined them for the Eid meal, at which senior officers of JKP were present.
During his interaction with the JKP, the NSA appreciated their hard work and commended each one of the officers and personnel present for ensuring peace and facilitating general public. He also conveyed Eid greetings to the families of the police personnel.
Doval on Monday also did a recce of the entire Srinagar, including downtown, Soura, Pampore, Lal Chowk area, Hazratbal, Pampore, Budgam (in Budgam Charar e Sharif area), South Kashmir including Pulwama and Awantipora.
“Everything was normal and people were seen celebrating Eid,” sources said.
Ahead of Eid Al Adha, Doval had also visited a sheep mandi to enquire if the sale of animals for the Eid was going on properly. The administration has been working overtime to ensure the people of J&K have a peaceful Eid, in the wake of the lockdown due to revocation of special status to Kashmir.
Noticeably, Maisuma, Srinagar near Lal Chowk which is JKLF boss Yasin Malik’s command centre for stone throwers, also saw complete peace and quiet. In fact, witnesses said children were seen singing and interacting with CRPF jawans in the area.
On Monday, photographs and videos shared by the government on social media showed people celebrating Eid in J&K, which has been under restrictions since August 5 when the government imposed prohibitory orders prior to revoking Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution which gave special status to the region.
NSA Doval and the state administration’s efforts to ensure a peaceful Eid appeared to have paid off, after the government reported that over 10,000 people offered prayers in a “peaceful environment”, though there were some “minor localised protests of a routine nature”.
There have been some isolated incidents of stone-pelting at “small levels” and the police handled the situation and dispersed the protesters, a statement from the government said.
Sources in the security establishment said Doval wanted to be on the ground in the state to personally take stock of the situation instead of depending on the inputs gathered from security officials. He had left on Sunday for a quick trip to New Delhi but was back in Srinagar by Sunday evening, said sources.
Doval’s Kashmir trip and photographs of him enjoying roadside meals along with locals in south Kashmir have attracted a lot of views and appreciation.
On Monday, Eid prayers were not allowed in most of the main mosques in Srinagar where curfew-like curbs were re-imposed on Sunday amid fear of violence. People offered namaz in the smaller masjids and many were also seen greeting on duty police personnel.
“Eid prayers concluded peacefully in various parts of the valley. No untoward incident reported so far,” the official Twitter handle of the Jammu and Kashmir Police posted on Monday morning.
Sharing a photo of people distributing sweets after offering namaz, Union Home Ministry spokesperson Vasudha Gupta tweeted: “Eid prayers offered peacefully in all local mosques of Anantnag, Baramulla, Budgam, Bandipore, without any untoward incident. Jamia Masjid old town Baramulla witnessed approx 10,000 people offering prayers.
“People come out in good numbers to pray on Eid in Jammu and Kashmir prayers concluded at prominent mosques in Srinagar and Shopian. Over 4,500 offer prayers at Eidgah Jammu.”