Lockdown from tonight until May 3 morning in 11 districts of Jammu and Kashmir

Published : April 29, 2021 17:08 IST

At a wholesale vegetable and fruit market in Jammu, crowds not adhering to social distancing norms, on April 28. Photo: Ankur Sethi/PTI

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has announced a lockdown in 11 districts of the Union Territory, including Srinagar, starting today until May 3 morning, in view of the COVID-19 second surge. Although the number of cases in the Union Territory is far less than the numbers in many other States, the decision was taken as a precautionary measure.

Taking to his Twitter handle, Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Aijaz Asad said, “There will be Complete Lockdown in Srinagar District from 7:00 pm Thursday (29/04/2021) to 7:00 am Monday (03/05/2021). Exemptions apply to essential services. Detailed order shall follow."

The decision comes a day after the administration ordered the imposition of Section 144 of the CrPC, banning the assembly of five or more persons in Srinagar. Simrandeep Singh, secretary of the Disaster Management Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Department, later said that 11 districts, including Srinagar, south Kashmir’s Anantnag, Pulwama and Kulgam; north Kashmir’s Baramulla, and central Kashmir’s Budgam and Ganderbal district besides Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi districts will be under curfew.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police (Kashmir Zone), quoting the Inspector General (Kashmir Range) Vijay Kumar, said: “During the #LockdownPeriod, all the #Police Units have been directed to ‘facilitate hassle free Movement of Doctors, Health Workers and Essential Services’. For any assistance #Dial-112.”

Prior to the imposition of the lockdown, the authorities had imposed Section 144 of the CrPC, which bars assembly of more than four persons, within the municipal limits of Srinagar district “to contain further spread of COVID-19”.

As per the figures available on April 28, there were 3,023 new infections and 30 deaths on that day. Of these, Kashmir Valley recorded 2,034 cases and 18 deaths, while the Jammu province reported 989 cases and 12 deaths. The overall number of cases in J&K stands at nearly 1,70,000, of which about 25,000 are active.

In view of the spiralling situation elsewhere in the country, many imams, khateebs and ulemas (head priests, sermonisers and scholars) in Kashmir have appealed to worshippers to offer prayers at home and not congregate inside mosques and shrines.

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