The government has decided to end the unilateral Ramzan ceasefire in Jammu-Kashmir. Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday that the Centre will not extend the ceasefire which was called on 17 May at the start of the Islamic holy month and ended on 16 June, Eid-ul-Fitr.

Singh said that the decision which prevented security forces from undertaking offensive operations in J-K during Ramzan was taken in the interests of the peace loving people of J-K so that they could observe the holy month in a conducive atmosphere.

“Security Forces are being directed to take all necessary actions as earlier to prevent terrorists from launching attacks and indulging in violence and killings. Government will continue with its endeavour to create an environment free of terror and violence in J-K,” wrote Singh on Twitter, officially bringing an end to a decision which was not seen favourably by some.

 

Commending the security forces for implementing “the decision in letter and spirit in the face of grave provocation”, Singh wrote that the decision was widely appreciated by the people all over the country, including J-K, and has brought relief to the common citizens and enabled “the Muslim brothers and sisters to observe Ramzan in a peaceful manner”.

But the Home Minister observed and admitted that though the security forces followed the decision, the terrorists continued their attacks on the forces and civilians resulting in many deaths.

“It was expected that everyone will cooperate in ensuring the success of this initiative. While the Security Forces have displayed exemplary restraint during this period, the terrorists have continued with their attacks, on civilians and SFs, resulting in deaths and injuries,” he wrote while urging the all sections of peace loving people to isolate terrorists.

 

“It is important that all sections of peace loving people come together to isolate the terrorists and motivate those who have been misguided to return to the path of peace,” wrote the Home Minister.

The decision to end the ceasefire came three days after the brutal killing of ‘Rising Kashmir’ editor-in-chief Shujaat Bukhari and Indian Army soldier Aurangzeb.

Bukhari, 50, was killed along with his two security guards on Thursday evening in Srinagar by gunmen when he was leaving his office to attend an Iftar.

Rifleman Aurangzeb, a local from Poonch, was abducted and killed by terrorists while he was on his way home to celebrate Eid with his family. He was a second-generation serving soldier of the Indian Army.

The killings of Bukhari and Aurangzeb had elicited strong demands for the immediate end to the ceasefire.

Announcing the ceasefire, the Centre had told security forces to not launch any operations in Jammu-Kashmir during Ramzan but allowed them the right to retaliate if attacked.

Mufti had then wholeheartedly welcomed the ceasefire and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Home Minister for their personal intervention.

“My gratitude also to the leaders and parties, who participated in the all party meeting and helped build consensus towards this announcement,” she had written in a tweet posted on 16 May.

“The month of Ramadan is a harbinger of peace & such a decision will go a long way in creating a peaceful & amicable environment for a sustained dialogue”, Mufti had said in another tweet.

Jammu-Kashmir DGP SP Vaid had said that the law and order situation in the state improved due to a ceasefire.

”The Ramzan ceasefire has been successful thus far. The initiative of Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has helped in a general improvement in law and order,” SP Vaid wrote on Twitter on 22 May.

“The situation especially in south Kashmir has eased and is serving as a confidence-building measure for families who want their boys to return back home,” the top cop had said.