Doval among the Kashmiri people.

Doval among the Kashmiri people.

Kitne bakri hai; NSA Doval strolls through Eid mandi, chats with goat sellers

Governor reviews Eid preparations; Centre rejects media claim of massive protests

Agency Report | Srinagar | 10 August, 2019 | 11:30 PM

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who has been camping in Kashmir Valley for the past week, on Saturday went for a ‘dekko’ to an Eid mandi in Anantnag where sheep were being sold for Monday’s Eid celebrations.

The NSA, who has been spending time visiting all the areas that were known as hotbeds of separatists, enquired from the animal traders about the weight and price of the sheep being sold for Eid ul Adha, when animals are sacrificed.

“Kitney ka hai, kya khilatey ho (How much is the price of each sheep, what do you feed them),” Doval is heard asking the men, who were apparently unaware of who he was.

One trader answered that the sheep were priced around Rs 10,000 for a 35 kg weight animal.

He then asked where the sheep were brought from, to which one trader answered “We have brought them from Drass, Kargil.”

“How many sheep did you bring?,” Doval enquired of one trader, to which he answered, “Around 40-50.” I sold 20,” he said.

Doval quipped, “That means you sold around Rs 2 lakh worth sheep.. Not bad.”

A government official accompanying Doval said that around 2,000 sheep were brought to the mandi, and around 1,000 were left.

Doval then wished the traders “Eid mubarak”.

The government official asked the men, “Do you know who he is? This is National Security Advisor Doval Sahab.”
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik reviewed preparations for the Eid celebrations and also healthcare facilities in hospitals in the city, even as National Security Advisor spent some time in Anantnag, meeting locals.

Malik said the administration is preparing for Eid and ensuring that maximum facilities are provided to the people. “People should celebrate Eid without fear, and peacefully,” he said.

A senior police officer said the ground situation has improved in the Valley, and in certain areas the shops are open.

To a question on healthcare facilities he said for anyone in need “we are encouraging them to reach the nearest government office. If they reach the primary health centre, we are arranging ambulances.”

Asked why some prisoners were being shifted outside the state, he said; “We have limited detention centres in the state, and wherever we feel people have to be shifted, we are shifting them.”

Meanwhile, while shops and offices were closed across the Valley, food and grocery shops were open, and people were seen queuing up outside ATMs.

Army commander Lt Gen R.P. Singh on Saturday visited the forward areas in Jammu and Pathankot to review operational preparedness.

Singh, Officiating Western Army Commander, visited Yol Cantt and forward areas of Rising Star Corps.

He visited the Headquarters and units located at Yol, Mamun and Jammu areas, where he was briefed about the operational preparedness of the Indian Army to counter threats manifested by “inimical and anti-national elements”.

Last week, Northern Command Chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh conducted visits to Rajouri, Poonch, Jammu, Ladakh and North Kashmir areas along the Line of Control.

The Central government has termed as “completely fabricated and incorrect” a media report that claimed there was a protest by 10,000 people in Srinagar on Friday when restrictions were eased.

The Union Home Ministry said the news report “originally published by Reuters and which appeared in the Dawn claims there was a protest involving 10,000 people in Srinagar”.

“This is completely fabricated and incorrect. There have been a few stray protests in Srinagar/Baramulla, and none involved a crowd of more than 20 people,” it said in a tweet.

On Friday, the administration in Jammu and Kashmir had eased prohibitory orders to allow Friday prayers in local mosques and for people to make arrangements for Monday’s Eid celebrations.

The administration has lifted prohibitory orders from Jammu region, and directed schools to reopen from Saturday.

Jammu and Kashmir has under complete lockdown for the past six days, a day before the Centre revoked Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to the state.
The Union Home Ministry said the news report “originally published in Reuters and which appeared in the Dawn claims there was a protest involving 10,000 people in Srinagar”.

“This is completely fabricated and incorrect. There have been a few stray protests in Srinagar/Baramulla, and none involved a crowd of more than 20 people,” it said in a tweet.