Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister Mehbooba MuftiTwitter

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has accepted Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's request for a ceasefire and told security forces not to launch operations in the state during Ramzan.

Mehbooba Mufti had recently decided to announce a ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir and sent out a letter to the Centre requesting to stop military operations in the state. Her request had received a mixed response from the public with many people trolling her on social media.

Responding to her letter, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday told Mehbooba Mufti that her request has been accepted. "Home Minister Rajnath Singh called me saying the Centre has decided a ceasefire during the month of Ramzan. It is very good news. I hope that everybody supports this initiative," the Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister told The Indian Express.

In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs also confirmed the news. "The Centre asks Security Forces not to launch operations in Jammu & Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan. Decision taken to help the peace loving Muslims observe Ramzan in a peaceful environment," read the statement.

"Security Forces to reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people. Government expects everyone to cooperate in this initiative and help the Muslim brothers & sisters to observe Ramzan peacefully and without any difficulties. It is important to isolate the forces that bring a bad name to Islam by resorting to mindless violence and terror," the statement added.

Mehbooba Mufti took to Twitter to thank Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh for the Ramadan ceasefire. She tweeted, "I wholeheartedly welcome the Ramadan ceasefire & would like to thank @narendramodi ji & @rajnathsingh ji for their personal intervention. My gratitude also to the leaders & parties who participated in the All Party Meeting & helped build consensus towards this announcement."

Mehbooba Mufti added, "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."

While the BJP and TDP were busy taking credit for Ramzan ceasefire, former J&K CM Omar Abdullah tweeted, "On the demand of all political parties (except the BJP, which had opposed it) the Centre has announced a unilateral ceasefire. Now if the militants don't respond in kind they will stand exposed as the true enemies of the people."

It must be recalled that during the Vajpayee government's tenure, the Union government had announced a unilateral ceasefire during the month of Ramzan in 2000.

Refering to it, Omar Abdullah also tweeted, "Centre will call this a NICO - Non-initiation of combat operations. It's what they called it during the Vajpayee-Advani era as well but it's still a unilateral cease fire. A rose by any other name........"