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Mobile Internet restored, curfew relaxed for 3 hours as Kishtwar limps back to normalcy

JAMMU

Mobile internet services in curfew-bound Kishtwar township of Jammu and Kashmir was restored on Monday after remaining suspended for the past six days following improvement in the overall law and order situation, a senior government official said.

The curfew, which was promulgated in the town and adjoining areas Tuesday last week following the killing of senior RSS leader Chanderkant Sharma and his security guard by militants inside a health centre, was also relaxed for three hours from mid-day, the official said.

“The situation is fast limping back to normalcy…the mobile internet services were restored, while the curfew was relaxed from 12.00 pm to 3 pm for the first time in the entire town,” district development commissioner, Kishtwar, A S Rana told PTI.

He said heavy rush of shoppers was witnessed in the main markets during the relaxation period, which passed off peacefully.

“We are monitoring the situation and are planning to relax curfew again later in the day,” the official said, adding that the situation is well under control.

The RSS leader’s killing triggered violent protests with angry mourners ransacking the office of the senior superintendent of police, prompting authorities to impose strict curfew in the communally-sensitive town and adjoining areas.

Earlier, authorities had relaxed the curfew in a phased manner for one hour on April 12 and again for a few hours in different phases on Sunday. Minor incidents of protests were witnessed in some parts of the curfew-bound town Saturday, following which no relaxation was given in the curfew.

The army continued to remain deployed and is assisting Central Reserve Police Force and police to maintain law and order, officials said.

The mobile internet services were suspended in the entire Chenab Valley belt comprising Kishtwar, Doda and Rajouri districts Tuesday, but were restored in Doda and Ramban districts Friday night.

With no untoward incident reported in Kishtwar, the internet services were also restored there this afternoon, the officials said.

Police had picked up several over ground workers (OGWs) for interrogation in connection with the killing of Sharma and his PSO by militants, while a massive hunt is on to nab the culprits.

Police has also seized the car used in the attack and released a picture of its owner, Zahid Hussain, who had been absconding since the day of the attack.

Kishtwar, which is part of the Udhampur-Kathua Lok Sabha constituency, goes to polls in the second phase of elections on April 18. The campaigning has been hit badly due to curfew for the past one week.

About PTI

Press Trust of India (PTI) is India’s premier news agency, having a reach as vast as the Indian Railways. It employs more than 400 journalists and 500 stringers to cover almost every district and small town in India. Collectively, they put out more than 2,000 stories and 200 photographs a day to feed the expansive appetite of the diverse subscribers, who include the mainstream media, the specialised presses, research groups, companies, and government and non-governmental organisations.

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