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Uneasy calm at JK Houses in Delhi, security deployment normal

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: August 5, 2019  | 19:03 IST

New Delhi, Aug 5 (PTI) An uneasy calm prevailed at two of the Jammu and Kashmir Houses in the national capital on Monday as the Centre revoked Article 370 which accorded special status to the state, even as authorities said security deployment at these establishments remained as usual. There are two Jammu and Kashmir Houses in Delhi -- one at 5 Pritiviraj Road which houses the office of the state's Resident Commissioner; and the other on Kautilya Marg at Chanakyapuri, which has a guest house facility for dignitaries, besides a canteen that offers cuisine from the state. There is also a Kashmir House, a heritage bungalow on Rajaji Marg in Lutyens' Delhi, adjoining which are residential staff quarters. While the security deployment remained normal at all three houses, an uneasy calm prevailed, given the import of the day. "Security deployment is routine, we have not received any instructions to step up the security at these Houses," a senior police official said. At the Pritiviraj Road J&K House, a beautiful, sprawling colonial-era mansion, which was originally a residence of Bhavnagar royal family, one could feel the uneasy quietness. A staff at this House, who did no wish to be named, said, "The security situation at the J-K House is normal, but we can feel the difference today." Asked if he was able to speak to his family back in Srinagar, the staff said, "I have tried to call them on phone several times, but the calls are not going through. People having satellite phones are able to connect somehow." At the J&K House in Chanakyapuri, opposite Bihar Bhawan, very few guests were seen in the afternoon, but a security staff on duty said, "The security situation at the House was all normal and as usual." "No extra security personnel have been deployed," he said. A shopkeeper next to Bihar Bhawan, who runs a food kiosk, said, "Security situation looks normal, but I am trying not to read news on my mobile phone as I an tensed." The government on Monday revoked the controversial Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and proposed that the state be bifurcated into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced the decision in Rajya Sabha, fulfilling the electoral promise of the BJP. While it sent a wave of jubilation among government supporters and others, it also provoked outrage from the NC and the PDP, the principal political parties in Jammu and Kashmir. Unprecedented in its political courage, the decision to take away the state's special status and treat it like any other in the country is aimed at the ending the decades old separatist movement. PTI KND NIT SMN

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