Day 109: Eerie Calm Prevails As Hartal Continues

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Srinagar: Srinagar city Tuesday continued to witness increased movement of traffic even as normal life continued to remain affected in the rest of the Valley due to separatist-sponsored strike.

In Civil Lines and uptown area of the Srinagar, extra-ordinary movement of private transport and pedestrians was once again seen since early morning but all the shops, commercial establishments and educational institutes were closed. Besides, the vendors had set up their stalls at Batamaloo, Lal Chowk, Dalgate, Sonwar, Jehangir Chowk, Exhibition crossing and Jawahar Nagar. The forces were deployed at sensitive areas in strength.

Many areas of the city here witnessed large queues of private vehicles as people slowly began to pick up the threads of their lives affected by the nearly four-month-long strike, officials said.

As the traffic in the city has significantly increased, additional traffic police personnel have been deployed at some intersections to ensure smooth flow of traffic.

Many shops were also open in the civil lines and the outskirts of the city, while an increased number of street vendors set up stalls at many places around the commercial hub of Lal Chowk.

The official said there is improvement in movement of people and transport with each passing day.

In the evening, all the markets across Srinagar opened in the wake of resistance programme of deal in strike after 5pm. The city markets including Lal Chowk witnessed huge rush of people and there were reports of heavy traffic jam from many civil lines areas. The shutdown was also reported from all the parts of Kashmir Valley.

During the day, the protests and clashes were reported from few parts of Valley. These protests also include by women while youth enforced shutdown at Muran in Pulwama district even during relaxation hours by pelting stones on vehicles and shops.

According to a statement issued by the Zonal Police Headquarters Kashmir, the situation remained normal across the valley with considerable increase in vehicles and pedestrian movement in Srinagar and other main towns today. “The shops were seen open and busy in their business in many parts of the valley.

In chowks and on busy streets large number of vendors remained busy in their routine job,” it said.

According to the statement during the day, no untoward incident was reported from any part of the valley. The statement said that adequate deployment of police and security forces was made at vulnerable points in Srinagar city, in main towns as also on the roads, lanes and by-lanes connecting different places.

While there were no curbs on the movement of people anywhere in Kashmir, the official said restrictions on assembly of four or more people were in place throughout the Valley for maintaining law and order.

He said security forces have been deployed in strength at vulnerable spots and along the main roads as a precautionary measure.

Deployment has been made at market places to instil a sense of security among the public to carry out their day to day activities, the official said.

Shops, business establishments and fuel stations remained shut, but are expected to open this evening as separatists have given a 14-hour relaxation in the shutdown from 5 PM.

Today is the last relaxation period for this week.

The ongoing unrest in Kashmir, apart from business and tourism, has also affected the education as schools, colleges and other educational institutions continue to remain shut in the Valley.

 

Gunmen loot JK Bank Branch

Flee with Rs 3 lakh

Kulgam: Armed gunmen raided Jammu Kashmir Bank, ransacked cash counters and looted cash before fleeing in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Tusday. Later senior police officers reached the spot and supervised investigations by despatching teams to work out the case.

According to the bank employees, more than two armed men on a motorcycle reached Kadar branch of JK Bank on Tuesday morning. “Two of the gunmen managed their entry into the Bank while one stood guard outside. They barged inside, took everyone at gun point and stashed Rs three lakh from the cash counter. They also assaulted a Bank employee Tanvir Ahmed and snatched his cell phone when the later tried to call the police,” they said adding that the incident occurred shortly after Bank was thrown open for the customers.

As soon as the gunmen left, the bank manager informed the police after which senior officers rushed to the spot. Army men from 62 Rashtriya Rifles and Special Operation Group of Jammu Kashmir Police cordoned off the area but failed to get the desired result.

Confirming the incident, Cluster Head Jammu Kashmir Bank Shabir Ahmed said that unknown gunmen looted the bank when employees had started normal business inside the bank. “They thrashed some of the employees before fleeing from the spot with the loot cash (Rs 2,96433 lakh),” he said.

 “We have registered a formal case and investigation has been taken up,” said a police official.

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