The Union Cabinet meeting is underway at the official residence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital at 9:30 am today and speculations are rife that government can make some major announcement related to policy changes in Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Kashmir remained on edge as authorities stepped up security deployment at vital installations and sensitive areas amid heightened terror threat and flare-up of hostilities with Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC). Mobile internet services were suspended across the Valley as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order, police said. Various educational institutions also directed their students to vacate hostels.
National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah, Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti and chairman of Peoples Conference Sajad Gani Lone along with several other mainstream political leaders have been placed under house arrest.
The authorities have also ordered the closure of schools and colleges in Jammu on Monday as precautionary measure and restrictions have also been imposed in Srinagar under Section 144 CrPC. Local cable TV channels have also been shut across the Valley and internet services across sensitive areas will remain blocked until further orders.
Just before being put under house arrest, the former BJP ally and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti tweeted that voices of people of Kashmir were being muzzled and the state is facing oppression of unimaginable magnitude.
"How ironic that elected representatives like us who fought for peace are under house arrest. The world watches as people & their voices are being muzzled in J&K. The same Kashmir that chose a secular democratic India is facing oppression of unimaginable magnitude. Wake up India," Mufti said.
After the Jammu and Kashmir administration curtailed the Amarnath Yatra and asked pilgrims and tourists to leave the valley at the earliest on Friday, anxious residents continue to throng markets to stock on essentials and serpentine queues have been visible outside shops and fuel stations.
Additional paramilitary forces, which arrived here last week, have been deployed across the city and in other vulnerable areas of Kashmir Valley, the officials said.
The strength of the security personnel has been increased around vital installations such as the civil secretariat, police headquarters, airport and various central government establishments in the city, they said. Barricades have been erected on many arterial roads, including the entry and exit points to Srinagar, the summer capital of the state.
Riot control vehicles have also been kept on standby in some areas where apprehension of law and order disturbances is more, the officials added.
In Delhi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with top security officials on Sunday and is believed to have discussed the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.
The hour-long meeting was attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and other senior officials.
The meeting came amidst fresh skirmishes between security forces of India and Pakistan along the border with the Army foiling an attack by BAT on a forward post along the Line of Control (LoC) in Keran sector, killing five to seven intruders.
With PTI Inputs