SRINAGAR: Business and other activities once again resumed for the fourth successive weekend as markets and roads witnessed a heavy rush of shoppers and vehicles despite chilly weather conditions following three-day-long relaxation in strike by separatists from today in Kashmir valley.
However, life remained crippled in Anantnag and Kulgam in south Kashmir, where two unidentified Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) militants were killed in an encounter which ended yesterday while a youth was killed in security forces action on December 8. But, police said a stray bullet hit and killed a youth near the encounter site.
Meanwhile, markets around historic Jamia Masjid, where Friday prayers were offered yesterday for the third successive week since July 9, witnessed heavy rush of shoppers. Authorities allowed Friday prayers for the third consecutive week in Jamia masjid after locking the main gates of the mosque in the morning. Moderate Hurriyat Confernce (HC) chairman Mirwaiz Maulvi Umar Farooq, who was placed under house arrest yesterday evening, was allowed to offer Friday prayers in Jamia masjid for the second time yesterday.
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 three-days though United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) call today evening could affect normal activities in Srinagar. The separatists have, however, extended the strike till December 15.
The separatists have been giving full day relaxation in strike for three days from today for the first time since July 9. In the previous three weeks, there was relaxation only over the weekends.
Meanwhile, business and other activities resumed today in other south Kashmir towns, said a report from Pulwama, 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.
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.
UNMOGIP March Foiled
Government forces Saturday resorted to lathicharge to disperse processionists at various place in Srinagar particularly the Old City aka Downtown. They were marching towards United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) office here to handover a memorandum.
Both the factions of the Hurriyat Conference (HC) and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), spearheading the agitation since July 9, had urged people to march towards UNMOGIP office today. They had asked people to handover a memorandum to the military observers regarding Indias continuous alleged denial of political right to self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir for last seven decades.
Hundreds of processionists, including moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) activists, took to street at Nowhatta in downtown Srinagar, and marched towards UNMOGIP office in Sonwar.
However, security forces deployed in the area swung into action and stopped the processionists from moving ahead at Khuz Bazare in downtown.
As the processionists didnt back down, security forces resorted to lathicharge to disperse the protestors.
Meanwhile, chairmen of both the factions of HC Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq remained under house arrest while Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik remained lodged in central jail Srinagar.
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