In a major decision, the Centre today asked security forces not to launch operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan.
The decision has been taken to help the peace loving Muslims observe Ramzan in a peaceful environment, a home ministry spokesperson said.
The security forces, however, reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people, the ministry said.
Militant group Lashker-e-Taiba, however, rejected the move, saying the ceasefire is no option and no thought can be given on such compromise.
"We deem it as sin and disgrace to the sacrifices put up in the freedom struggle," LeT statement issued in Srinagar said.
" We are the heirs of the martyrs. Opting for such choice is treachery to blood of martyrs and there is no disgrace as such."
In an emailed statement to local news agency, LeT spokesperson Mahmood Shah said: "The statement of India's interior minister is nothing but a drama. It may be a wish of India and its few sympathizers and nothing else. Bipin Rawat is of the opinion that he may threaten the Kashmiris by imposing atrocities on unarmed students. It has neither happened before nor will it happen now. We were active in the resistance before and so we will be in future.”
Shah, in the statement, said: “We are in favour of negotiations but the talks of negotiations in the presence of armed occupational forces in the region are lies.”
He added: "The whole of Jihad Council is convinced on the leadership of Syed Salahuddin. Our mothers are supporting us by picking up the guns and we can never betray their trust. This indigenous freedom struggle is supported by the pure blood of martyrs and we can never let anyone betray it. We vow to the people that we will never betray their trust and the immense sacrifices they have gone through in the freedom struggle. We will fight to the last of our blood in our struggle against illegal occupation."
The LeT said it will continue "the armed struggle until and unless Jammu Kashmir had won its freedom".
Union home minister Rajnath Singh had informed Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti of the central government's decision.
"It is important to isolate the forces that bring a bad name to Islam by resorting to mindless violence and terror," the home ministry spokesperson said.
The government expects everyone to cooperate in this initiative and help the Muslim brothers and sisters to observe Ramzan peacefully and without any difficulties, the spokesperson said.
The holy moth of Ramzan is likely to start tomorrow or Friday depending on the sighting of moon.
The People's Democratic Party (PDP) thanked the government for "accepting party’s demand for the ceasefire" in Kashmir and termed the decision a big relief for the people of Kashmir who have been "bearing the brunt of hostilities and violence for decades.'
The party also asked Pakistan to respond positively to such a decision and reciprocate with positive approach so that peace that has so been remained elusive between the two countries could become a reality.
The state Congress also welcomed the decision of the central government saying it is a goodwill gesture. The party, however, said at the same time Central government should also make its long lasting plan for Jammu and Kashmir.
The PDP general secretary Mansoor Hussain said the central government decision to have ceasefire during the "sacred month of Ramadan" in Kashmir should be ceased as a vital opportunity by the people who have been yearning for peace and reconciliation for long.
He said by taking such a bold decision, the government hasn’t only regarded the plea made by the chief minister but has also upheld the sanctity and sacredness of the month of Ramzan which every year comes with the universal message of peace, harmony and brotherhood.