Day 83: Valley Situation Remains Grim, Life Paralysed

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Srinagar: Situation continued to remain grim in Kashmir valley where life remained crippled for the 83rd consecutive day on Thursday since the death of militant leader Burhan Wani triggering a wave of protests and clashes across Kashmir leading to the death of over 90 people besides wounding tens of hundreds of protests.

Hundreds of forces personnel were deployed in three police station areas of Srinagar’s Old City – MR Gunj, Nowhatta and Khanyar – since early morning. The other areas of the Old City were also under continous forces’ siege. There was however civilian movement without any disruption in all these areas.

In the evening, stone-throwing clashes erupted at many Old City localities during which forces used teargas and pepper shells against the youth protesters. In Civil Lines and uptown area of the Srinagar, greater movement of private transport and pedestrians was seen since early morning but all the shops, commercial establishments, educational institutes and banks were closed. The forces were deployed at sensitive areas in strength.

Reports said that a complete shutdown was also observed in other parts of the Valley including in south and north Kashmir districts. All kinds of business and educational activities remained completely halted in these districts.

According to a statement issued by the Zonal Police Headquarters Kashmir, the situation across the valley remained by and large peaceful today. “There was no untoward incident reported from any part of the valley,” it said.

According to the statement, during the day large number of vehicles was seen plying on city roads as well main towns and on the inter-district roads.

“During the past 24 hours, police arrested 73 such individuals who were involved in causing disturbances by harassing shopkeepers, creating disruptions in traffic movement by placing obstructions on roads and lanes, besides involved in damaging public/private property in different parts of the valley,” the statement said.

Life in the civil lines, including historic Lal Chowk remained crippled and traffic was off the roads.

Security forces and state police personnel remained deployed in strength to prevent any violence in the civil, including Maisuma, stronghold of JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, who is under detention since July 9.

Main business hubs, including Regal Chowk, Hari Singh High Street (HSHS), Mahraji Bazar, Gonikhan, Budshah Chowk, Batmaloo, Polo View, Jehangir Chowk and Iqbal park continue to wore a deserted look with only security forces and state police personnel remained deployed.

Passenger transport remained off the roads.  However, some private vehicles, particularly two wheelers, were seen plying. Work in government offices and banks remained affected for the 82nd day today. Educational institutions continued to wore a deserted look. 

Security forces and police personnel remained deployed in strength on city roads, particularly on Moulana Azad and Residency roads.

Reports of shut down were also received from other parts of the Srinagar, including uptown and outskirts, where security forces remained deployed to maintain law and order.

A report from Baramulla said life remained crippled in this and other major north Kashmir towns with all shops and business establishments closed and traffic off the roads.  Security forces, holding automatic weapons and wearing bullet proof jackets continued to keep a strict vigil to prevent any law and order problem. Work in government offices, banks and other commercial institutions remained affected while educational institutions still wore a deserted look.

Security forces had been deployed on bridges over river Jehlum connecting old town with civil lines in Baramulla.

Additional security forces had been deployed in Sopore, Handwara and Kupwara to strictly implement restrictions on assembly of people.

Business and other activities remained paralysed in this and other south Kashmir towns and tehsil headquarters, a report from Shopian said.

The report said that security forces and police had closed all main roads, including Srinagar-Jammu national highway from 1800 hrs last evening when there was relaxation in the separatist strike till 0600 hrs this morning.

People alleged that they were not allowed to drive their vehicles at 1800 hrs by the security forces. When you are not plying your vehicle during the day when there is strike, we will not allow you to drive after 1800 hrs when there is relation, the residents of Bijbehara alleged.

Meanwhile,  life remained crippled other major towns and tehsil headquarters in south Kashmir, including Kulgam, Shopian, Pulwama, Tral, Pampore, Awantipora, Bijbehara and Qazigund, the report said adding security forces in large numbers remained deployed to prevent any law and order. Restrictions on assembly of people had been imposed in Kulgam.

Traffic remained off the roads and work in government offices and banks were affected. Educational institutions remained shut.

However, the Srinagar-Jammu national highway was open and vehicles were plying though additional paramilitary forces besides Army personnel could be seen deployed to prevent any stone pelting or violence.  The highway is being closed during the night as separatists had allowed plying of vehicle during the night in the valley.

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