NEW DELHI: The government will be watching closely to gauge the mood in Kashmir Valley later this week during Friday prayers and on Eid-ul-Zuha, which falls on August 12. This will be the first instance of a security relaxation and provide an opportunity to sense the reactions to Article 370 being defanged . The Centre, along with the administration in Srinagar, has been monitoring the situation closely, with national security adviser Ajit Doval on the ground assessing developments in the Valley over the past few days. He has held meetings with governor Satya Pal Malik and other senior functionaries. There does not seem to be any anticipated time-line to restrictions being lifted and security deployment — ramped up ahead of the Parliament vote on Article 370These services are prone to being used for rumour-mongering and mobilising locals for stone-pelting protests by separatists and other overground supporters of anti-India jihadi groups. Even with the current restrictions, there have been sporadic incidents of stone-pelting, particularly in Srinagar, with groups of 4-5 miscreants coming out to throw stones and then retreating. On Wednesday, Doval met security forces in Shopian, areas that have often seen the most violence. Shopian and neighbouring areas of south Kashmir have been a hotbed of terrorism and witness regular clashes with security forces. This was ground zero during the violent agitation after the death of Hizb “commander” Burhan Wani in July 2016. “This area is currently largely peaceful,” a source said. Government sources said Doval’s presence is intended to ensure two things — people of Kashmir, under a communication and security lockdown, don’t face too many hardships and security forces are coordinated and ready to tackle any trouble. “He directed officials to ensure smooth supply of essential food items and provide emergency assistance on a priority basis,” said an official. Of course, with limited mobility, there are several restrictions on normal life. On Tuesday, Doval reviewed the security situation at a meeting attended by senior officials in Srinagar. The Modi government is carefully monitoring the popular mood in the Valley and south Kashmir. So far the ground situation has been quiescent, leading security officials to describe it as “satisfactory”. In Video:Security measures in Kashmir Valley may be eased for Friday prayers and Eid
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