Asking its army to suspend operations against militants, India has declared in a ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan.
More than 130 people have been killed this year in militant violence, prompting calls by the J&K government for a ceasefire during the fasting month that begins this week.
Rajnath Singh, Union home minister has ordered security forces to halt cordon and search operations across Kashmir, the government said. Only last weekend, soldiers killed five suspected rebels in an operation in Shopian district that prompted protests from hundreds of people who pelted stones at the security forces.
The home ministry said in a Twitter post, “decision taken to help the peace loving Muslims observe Ramzan (Ramadan) in a peaceful environment.”
There was no immediate response from Jammu and Kashmir’s main separatist alliance, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, that has long sort a cessation of all operations and calls for dialogue between India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri people to decide their future.