Day 151: Life Picking Up Pace In Valley

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Srinagar: Business and other activities remained affected for the second successive day on Tuesday after relaxation in the strike announced by separatists over the weekend though traffic, including private and public, was almost normal in Kashmir valley, particularly in Srinagar.

However, Indoor and Bakshi Stadiums here were abuzz with athletes and sport persons, including children, gathered to participate in a function attended by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

Shops and business establishments remained closed though large number of private and public vehicles, besides three-wheelers, could be seen plying on some routes in the Valley, especially in Srinagar. The number of vehicles plying on roads was very high as compared to yesterday, when separatists had given ‘Lal Chowk chalo’ call.

Meanwhile, all educational institutes again wore a deserted look as students preferred to remain away in support of separatists call in Kashmir valley after attending their classes on weekend when there was relaxation in separatist strike. However, many private schools operated with instructions to students that they should not come in school uniform, and at their own risk and responsibility.

Hundreds of sports persons attended a sporting event organized by the state Sports Council. “I have around 40 martial art players with me, who are participating in this event. It is good boost for by players as many of them are going to participate in South Asian mix martial art championship later this month in Bhutan,” Jammu and Kashmir Tong IL Moo Do Association (JKTMDA) general secretary Arshid Aziz said.

However, restrictions imposed to foil separatist “Lal Chowk Chalo” march on Monday have been lifted in and around the historic Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the summer capital.

But, all shops remained closed in the main business hubs in civil lines. Though large number of passenger and private vehicles were plying on the streets in civil lines, resulting in traffic jam on some routes.

The situation was no different in uptown, where shops and business establishments, which were open over the weekend, remained closed in support of the separatists strike call. But, large number of public and private vehicles were plying on roads in uptown, resulting in traffic jam on Airport road at Rambagh due to construction of flyover for which work remained suspended since July 9.

Both the factions of the Hurriyat Conference (HC) and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), spearheading the agitation since July 9, have already extended the strike call till December 8. The separatists have given relaxation in strike on the last three weekends though there was no relaxation yesterday and today.

Meanwhile, all the gates to historic Jamia Masjid, where Friday prayers were offered for the second time after 19 weeks on December 2, were again locked and no one was being allowed to enter the complex. The Jamia Market, which witnessed heavy rush of customers over the weekend, continued to wear a deserted look though large number of security forces and state police personnel remained deployed there.

A report from Baramulla said that life was again affected due to strike in this and other major towns and tehsil headquarters in north Kashmir, where markets witnessed a heavy rush over the weekend.

Security forces and state police personnel remained deployed in entire north Kashmir, where shops and business establishments again downed their shutters though good number of private, besides some public transport, was plying on roads.

Reports of complete strike were also received from central Kashmir districts of Ganderbal and Badgam, including Kangan, Charar-e-Sharief, Chadoora and Chanapora, where business establishments and shops were open over weekend due to relaxation in strike. However, some passenger and public transport was plying on roads at some places in the Ganderbal and Budgam.

A report from Anantnag said that business and other activities, which were functional for two days till Sunday, remained closed for the second day today in this and other south Kashmir towns, including Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, Awantipora, Pampore and Pahalgam.

Some inter-district cabs, besides private vehicles were plying on some routes in south Kashmir, where government offices and banks were also affected due to the strike.

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