Eid al-Adha was celebrated in the Kashmir Valley as thousands offered prayers at local mosques amid curfew-like restrictions. Bigger mosques like Jama Masjid and Hazratbal were not open for prayers as concerns over fake news and rumour mongering on social mediahad officials on the edge.
Further, the Centre on Monday wrote to Twitter asking it to take down as many as eight handles allegedly peddling fake news and spreading misinformation about the situation in the Valley, officials said.
Later in the day, news agency PTI reported that Twitter has suspended “four handles for allegedly spreading anti-India propaganda on Jammu and Kashmir.”
According to officials, suspension of Twitter handles was taken up by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The government said these social media accounts were spreading rumours and misinformation to disturb peace and calm in the Valley. Several of these twitter handles, including one in name of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, are being operated from outside the Valley, officials told ET.
Earlier, NSA Ajit Doval undertook an aerial survey of Srinagar and south Kashmir areas to take stock of the security situation.
A home ministry spokesperson said: “Locals in Srinagar made over 5,000 calls to their families and relatives outside the Valley on the occasion of Eid.” J&K police denied media reports of protests and violence after the Friday prayers. “There have been some reports in the media about firing by security agencies and deaths, the police carried out a detailed briefing,” IGP (Kashmir) SP Pani said, adding: “I would like to reiterate and categorically deny that any firing incident has happened in J&K.”
On being asked about the duration of communication blockade, a home ministry official told ET: “Restrictions are because of security requirements. However, people are being facilitated to contact their relatives outside the state through deployment of helplines at convenient locations such as the DC office, police stations and police posts. Any relaxation or tightening in restrictions is a local exercise by the police and district administration based on their assessment of the need to maintain public order and peace.”
“This is a dynamic situation and relaxations will be announced accordingly,” Rohit Kansal, J&K administration spokesperson told reporters in Srinagar.