Kashmir: Governor recalls security order; Tourists welcome from October 10
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has recalled the Home Department’s August 2 order instructing tourists to immediately leave the Valley. Malik’s order will come into effect from October 10, and allow people to return to the state for the first time since the Parliament revoked Article 370. The move has promised a hint of normalcy in the controversial region in quite some time.
The decision to open Kashmir back to tourists was taken at a meeting held to review the security situation in Kashmir. Chaired by Malik, the meeting also saw Principal Secretaries of Planning and Housing and Urban Development Department. The J&K administration had called off the annual Amarnath Yatra on August 2 leading to panic in the region.
Within 72 hours of the order, the Parliament passed a Bill abrogating J&K’s special status and bifurcating the state into two union territories. J&K has ever since then been reeling under an unprecedented security clampdown, with mobile communications cut off and mainstream political leaders held under detention.
Malik was informed today that there is “active interest in the Block Development Council (BDC) elections and most of the seats of Chairpersons of BDCs would be filled.” He was also told that party members are being allowed to meet their presidents who are currently in jail, so they can take a decision on elections and authorise people to approve candidates.