India's home ministry says government troops in held Kashmir have been asked to stop counter-insurgency operations during the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan.

The ministry in a series of tweets on Wednesday said the decision was made so that Muslims can observe the holy month “in a peaceful environment".

Another tweet said Indian troops “reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people".

No separatist group fighting against Indian rule immediately issued any statement about the announcement.

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim it in its entirety.

Separatists have been fighting Indian rule since 1989, demanding India held Kashmir be made part of Pakistan or unified with Azad Jammu and Kashmir as an independent country.