India

Security Operations Stopped in Jammu and Kashmir for Ramzan The move stopped short of a unilateral ceasefire though

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INDIA’s Home Ministry has asked the security forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir to not launch operations during the month of Ramzan, accepting a request proposed by the state’s Chief Minister at an all-party meeting last week.

“Decision taken to help the peace loving Muslims observe Ramzan in a peaceful environment,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in a series of tweets announcing the decision.

The move stopped short of a unilateral ceasefire though as the announcement came with a caveat: the security forces will have the right to retaliate if attacked.

“Security Forces to reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people,” the tweet clarified.

Frequent clashes, encounters, and incidents of stone pelting in the state have taken a heavy toll on the residents and the security forces. Earlier this month, a tourist from Chennai was killed when his vehicle was attacked by stone throwers. This led to fears of tourists staying away from the state during the peak season.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti welcomed the gesture and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the home minister for their intervention.

“The month of Ramadan is a harbinger of peace & such a decision will go a long way in creating a peaceful & amicable environment for a sustained dialogue,” she said in a tweet.

Welcoming the announcement, opposition leader Omar Abdullah placed the onus of maintaining peace on the militants and said: “if the militants don’t respond in kind they will stand exposed as the true enemies of the people.”

The move is being seen as a bold initiative by the government to bring peace to the state and was previously done in 2011 when Bharatiya Janata Party’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister.

-ENDS-

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