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SOURCE: Business-standard.com

Security forces in Jammu and Kashmir have been ordered not to launch operations during the holy month of Ramzan, which starts from Thursday. The Centre on Wednesday told security forces not to launch operations during the holy month of Ramadan. The decision was taken “to help the peace loving Muslims observe Ramzan in a peaceful environment”, a Home Ministry statement said. Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti about the decision, it said.

“It is important to isolate the forces that bring a bad name to Islam by resorting to mindless violence and terror. Security Forces to reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people,” Rajnath Singh tweeted.

In a series of tweets, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the government expects everyone to cooperate in this initiative and help the Muslim brothers & sisters to observe Ramzan peacefully and without any difficulties.

Last week, J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had chaired an all-party meet to discuss situation in Kashmir following the death of a 22-year-old tourist from Tamil Nadu, who was killed in stone pelting in Kashmir.

After the meeting, Mufti said the Central government would be approached with a request to halt security force operations during the forthcoming holy Muslim month of Ramadan and the ensuing Amarnath Yatra. The meeting was to work out a consensus among political parties as to what should be the best course of action to defuse the prevailing tension in Kashmir.

Briefing media persons afterwards, Mehbooba Mufti said all political parties participated in the meeting and everybody was concerned about the present situation.

“One good thing that happened today was that every party wanted the implementation of the agenda of alliance between the PDP and the BJP which is a visionary document detailing the best way to address the problems here,” she said, adding that it was agreed that it was agreed that an all-party delegation would be formed after working out modalities with principal opposition party, the National Conference.
“The delegation would approach the Prime Minister to appeal him to consider the announcement of a unilateral ceasefire as was done in 2002 during the Prime Ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the approaching holy month of Ramadan, Eid festival and the Amarnath Yatra,” she said.

Top 10 development on Modi govt’s conditional ceasefire in J&K during Ramzan
1. Mufti, Omar welcome Modi govt’s decision on ceasefire during Ramzan: Mufti and opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah welcomed the Centre’s decision to not launch any security operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan.

“I wholeheartedly welcome the Ramadan ceasefire & would like to thank @narendramodi ji & @rajnathsingh ji for their personal intervention. My gratitude also to the leaders & parties who participated in the All Party Meeting & helped build consensus towards this announcement,” Mehbooba said in a tweet following the Centre’s announcement.

She said Ramzan is a harbinger of peace and such a decision will go a long way in creating a peaceful and amicable environment for a sustained dialogue.Omar said if the militants did not respond in kind to the Centre’s unilateral halt on operations during the month of Ramzan, they will be exposed as enemies of the people.

“On the demand of all political parties (except the BJP, which had opposed it) the Centre has announced a unilateral ceasefire. Now if the militants don’t respond in kind, they will stand exposed as the true enemies of the people,” he said in a tweet.

2. Citizens group supports demand for ceasefire in J&K during Ramzan: A group of citizens, including former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha and former Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, extended support to Mufti’s call for a unilateral ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir during the month of Ramzan till completion of the Amarnath Yatra.

In a statement issued here, the Concerned Citizens’ Group said it strongly endorses the joint demand of the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir for a ceasefire during the sacred month of Ramzan. “The security forces must observe the ceasefire strictly and should fire only when fired upon,” it said.
The group said the government of India must initiate a purposeful dialogue, in the meanwhile, with all stakeholders in a time-bound manner. They appealed to people to abjure violence during Ramzan and Amarnath Yatra.

3. Mehbooba Mufti told Centre to consider ceasefire during Ramzan: Last week, Mufti said the central government should consider a unilateral ceasefire in the state starting from Ramzan in mid May till the completion of the Amarnath yatra in August. She made the remarks after chairing a four-hour all-party meeting, which was convened to discuss the present situation in the Kashmir Valley.

4. BJP’s J&K unit opposed Mufti’s proposal: While the Centre has agreed to Mufti’s proposal and announced ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir during Ramzan, the BJP Jammu and Kashmir unit had opposed it last week. The party’s state unit said militants were demoralised due to Army action and a unilateral ceasefire would ease pressure and allow them to re-energise.

5. Jitendra Singh says parties advocating ceasefire playing politics over Ramzan: On Saturday, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said parties advocating a unilateral ceasefire by the Centre in Jammu and Kashmir are playing politics over Ramzan. He asserted that the government had a consistent policy with regard to Pakistan and terrorism.

I want to ask a question to those who are suggesting a unilateral ceasefire whether they are true followers of Islam? As long as we understand Islam and Holy Quran, those who observe fast it is imperative for them not to indulge in any type of violence or harm anyone.
Instead of advising them (militants), suggesting others means that you are not faithful to Ramzan but you are playing politics over it, Singh said.

6. BJP slams Mufti for being ‘soft’ on stone pelters: The BJP spokespersons described the situation in the Kashmir Valley as “very serious” and said the soft policy of the Mehbooba Mufti government was responsible for it.
“Security situations is very serious…in Kashmir, stone pelting is continuously on and unfortunately one tourist has lost his life,” he said.

7. Omar slams Mufti on ceasefire call: National Conference (NC) working president Omar Abdullah hit out at Mufti, saying she would “shamelessly cling to power even as her party’s alliance partner BJP did not agree with her. Taking to Twitter, Omar said, What was the point of @MehboobaMufti calling an all party meeting to build a consensus around initiatives in Kashmir when her ally in the Govt doesn’t agree with her! Yet she will shamelessly cling to power because that’s all that matters to her.

8. Tourist from Chennai killed in stone pelting: A 22-year-old tourist from Tamil Nadu died in Srinagar last week when a mob went on the rampage near Narbal on the outskirts of the city, police said.
Thirumani and his family were returning from Gulmarg, about 50 km from summer capital Sringar, when their vehicle was caught in stone pelting near Magam area of Budgam. A stone hit the young man on his right temple and he was rushed to the Soura Institute of Medical Sciences where he died.
The tourist was taken to the SKIMS hospital at Soura, where he succumbed to injuries, the official added.

A case was registered and investigations have been taken up in the matter, the official said.
9. Death of Tamil Nadu tourist is ‘murder of humanity’, says Mehbooba: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti termed the death of a 22-year-old tourist whose vehicle was targeted by stone-pelters the “murder of humanity” and said the incident had rattled the mother in her.

Those who pick up stones to kill someone have no religion, an upset Mehbooba said after meeting the father of Chennai resident S Thirumani, who was holidaying in the Valley with his family and died yesterday evening at a hospital in Srinagar.

The issue would be discussed and debated on television for days and “we will be silently watching the murder of humanity, which has been unheard of in the state of Jammu and Kashmir”, Mehbooba told PTI.
Saying that her head hangs in shame, the chief minister questioned the education being imparted to children.

“The mother in me is rattled about the kind of education we are imparting to our next generation,” said the mother of two daughters and the first woman chief minister of the state.
10. Condition in Kashmir deteriorated in three years, says Omar: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said the condition in Kashmir Valley has deteriorated in last three years.

He made this remark while commenting on a tourist’s death due to stone pelting in his assembly constituency

“We are proud of our hospitality and we talk about it to the world. But, what happened is nothing but sad and shameful. Unfortunately, in last three years, the condition in Kashmir Valley has deteriorated,” Abdullah told ANI.

Soon after his death, Abdullah had tweeted: “This young man from Chennai died in my constituency & while I don’t support these goons, their methods or their ideology I’m deeply, deeply sorry that this happened at all & that too in an area I’ve been proud to represent since 2014.”

In another tweet, he said, “The J&K Govt has failed, the CM has failed, the BJP-PDP alliance has failed. How much blood will have to be shed in Kashmir before the Hon PM realises the gravity of the situation in J&K? When will enough finally be enough?”