Govt offices in Jammu and Kashmir resume from Friday

Government offices in Jammu and Kashmir started functioning from Friday and easing of severe curbs on movement of the public would depend on day's development after the 'namaaz', a Raj Bhawan spokesperson said on Thursday.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik directed the resumption of normal functioning of the government secretariat and other offices after a review of the security scenario in the state on Thursday evening, he added.

The Governor also ordered for making arrangements to facilitate the government employees' movement to work, the spokesman said.

Governor Malik took the decision after a review of the security scenario in the state that ensured peaceful Independence Day celebrations across the state on Thursday, including in its various district headquarters and elsewhere, the spokesperson said.

He said the government would be watching the situation during Friday prayers (namaaz) and based on the day's developments, relaxations in restrictions could be considered for the general public as well, he added.

The Governor conducted the security review in a high-level meeting attended by his advisor and the state government secretary amongst others at the Raj Bhawan here in Srinagar and expressed satisfaction over the security scenario in the state, said the spokesperson.

"There were no untoward incidents anywhere. Strong security arrangements were in place which thwarted any attempts to disturb the celebrations," he added.

The Governor also thanked the people for being cooperative during the period of restrictions and assured them that the same would be reduced gradually, he said.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Friday said it will wait for some time before passing any direction on the plea seeking removal of restrictions on the media in Jammu and Kashmir after the Indian government said curbs are being lifted gradually.

During the hearing, the government told the Apex Court that the situation is improving in Jammu and Kashmir and the curbs are being lifted gradually

A bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices S A Bobde and S A Najeer, said "we would like to give little time. We have read in newspapers today that landline and broadband connections are being restored gradually,” the bench said

"The landlines are working. We also got a call today from the Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court," the apex court bench further said

Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing for Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor, Kashmir Times newspaper, said there was a need for early restoration of communication mode for journalists to carry out their work.

At this point, the bench said it can also refer this matter to the bench which on Tuesday had entertained a similar petition

Another bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, had on Tuesday refused to interfere with the Indian and Jammu and Kashmir government imposing several restrictions, saying "reasonable time" be given for bringing normalcy in the sensitive situation.