SRINAGAR: Though Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are now officially two Union Territories, life in the valley is yet to normalise. Since the abrogation of Article 370 till the third week of October, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry has faced losses to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore.
Girish Chandra Murmu took the reins as the first Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, while Radha Krishna Mathur assumed charge as the first Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh.
Kashmir in the past week has seen a lot of developments, including the visit of European Union parliamentarians amid a lot of political slugfest and controversies and Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh becoming Union Territories.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that Article 370 did not allow the development of Kashmir. He said that because of Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir has seen deaths and terrorist activities.
With the grant of a new status to J&K and Ladakh, radio stations have been renamed. “Radio Kashmir Srinagar” has been renamed as “All India Radio, Srinagar”.
Besides, former Chief Ministers and other ministers in the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir have been told to vacate the official accommodations without any delay.
The administrative set-up has also undergone some changes. While some commissions have been abolished, the Raj Bhawan has been renamed as Raj Niwas with the Lieutenant Governor at the helm of affairs.
As LG, Murmu will need to take decisions on several issues, including the fate of the three former Chief Ministers and hundreds of political activists and lawmakers who are currently under detention.
On the 13th consecutive Friday, the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar and other mosques remained closed as the authorities had imposed restrictions apprehending trouble and violence.
This Friday had coincided with the routine of a large gathering of people for “Khuja Dhegar” (congregational Asar prayers) at a shrine in downtown Srinagar known as the shrine of Naqashband Sahib (RA).
Since 31 October, the valley has witnessed several protests and incidents of violence, especially in Srinagar city. Even on Friday, some incidents of protests and violence were seen in the valley, police said without giving further details.
In the past two weeks, at least 11 non-Kashmiri labourers including several truck drivers, were killed by terrorists in South Kashmir, triggering panic among fruit traders and locals.
On the deaths of five Bengali labourers in South Kashmir, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banarjee has blamed the Centre and the BJP. She has questioned the government’s “silence” on the issue.
Meanwhile, educational institutions continue to suffer as they could not hold any classes, even as examinations for class 10 and class 12 have begun in Kashmir.
Landline telephones and postpaid mobile services have been restored, but internet and pre-paid mobile services remain suspended.