Day 141: Valley Abuzz With Activity

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SRINAGAR: The city along with the rest of Kashmir came alive with activity on Saturday with offices, shops and other business establishments opening in the Valley after separatist announced a two-day weekend relaxation in their agitation programme.

The situation has been by and large peaceful over the last few weeks in the Valley, which had been hit by clashes between violent protesters and security forces following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.

Shops, offices, business establishments and fuel stations opened this morning for the full day.

There was massive traffic on the roads in Srinagar as public transport resumed fully and people came out to do their day to day activities on Saturday.

The authorities have increased the presence of traffic personnel on the roads to manage the traffic.

Similar reports of people resuming their normal life were received from most of the other district headquarters of the Valley.

The separatists have been issuing weekly protest programmes. They had for the first time announced a two-day relaxation in the strike last weekend.

Meanwhile, markets around historic Jamia Masjid, where prayers were allowed after 19 Fridays for the first time since July 9, witnessed heavy rush of shoppers.

Streets remained flooded with vehicles and some routes witnessed traffic jams in the city, where traffic police personnel were on their toes to maintain smooth traffic movement.

Both the factions of the Hurriyat Conference (HC) and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), spearheading the agitation since July 9, had announced relaxation for 48 hours from today. The separatists have, however, extended the strike till December 1.

Despite chilly weather conditions in Kashmir valley, including summer capital Srinagar, business and other activities resumed early this morning and currency ban hardly affected enthusiastic shoppers, who could be seen buying warm clothes, besides other essential items.

Srinagar came alive for second successive weekend today as shops and business establishments reopened and traffic was plying on all routes though there were frequent traffic jams on some busy routes.

However, banks remained closed as today is the last Saturday of the month but the ATMs were open though there is hardly any long queue.

Majority of shops were open in the main business hubs in civil lines, including Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the city, Hari Singh High Street (HSHS), Gonikhan, Residency road, Moulana Azad road, Mahraj Bazar, Batmaloo, Iqbal park, Dalgate, Regal Chowk and Budshah Chowk.

The situation was no different in uptown, where shops and business establishments opened early this morning while traffic was plying on all roads. There was traffic jam on Airport road at Ram Bagh due to bottleneck created because of construction of flyover on which work remained suspended since July 9.

Reports were received from the other parts of the valley.

A report from Baramulla said that shops and business establishments reopened this morning and traffic was plying on all routes in this and other north Kashmir district tehsil headquarters in view of the relaxation.

However, security forces and state police personnel remained deployed in strength to prevent any untoward incident.

Business and other activities also resumed today in this and other south Kashmir towns, said a report from Anantnag, where shops and business establishments were open and traffic was plying on all routes following relaxation in strike.

Similar reports were also received from central Kashmir district of Badgam and Ganderbal, where shops and business establishments were open and traffic was plying normally on all roads.


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