Day 48: Kashmir Remains Shut

SRINAGAR -Though there is no official announcement from the authorities about lifting of the restrictions clamped on Kashmir 48 days back, private vehicles are plying on the roads and very few barriers put up earlier by paramilitary forces, are in place. However all markets in capital Srinagar and in other major towns remain closed.

Police on Saturday reimposed restrictions in the Handwara area of Kupwara district as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order, officials said.

Fresh restrictions were imposed in many parts of the Valley on Friday in view of apprehensions that vested interests might exploit the large Friday prayer gatherings at big mosques and shrines to fuel protests.

The restrictions under Section 144 of the CrPc continued as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order, the officials added.

Security deployment remained in vulnerable areas and mobile and internet services were yet to be restored in most parts of the Valley 48 days after the Centre abrogated Article 370 provisions of the Constitution.

Restrictions were first imposed across Kashmir on 5 August after the Centre announced stripping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcating the state into two Union territories. The restrictions were lifted in phases from many parts of the Valley.

Friday prayers have not been allowed at any of the major mosques or shrines – including Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta or Dargah Sharief in Hazratbal.

Normal life continued to remain affected across the valley for the 48th consecutive day on Saturday with markets closed and public transport off the roads, the officials said.

The internet services remained suspended across all platforms, they said.

While landline were functional, voice calls on mobile devices were working only in Kupwara and Handwara police districts of north Kashmir, the officials added.

The efforts of the state government to open schools have not borne any fruit as parents continued to keep the kids at home due to apprehensions about their safety.

Most of the top-level and second rung mainstream politicians, including three former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, continued to be in detention or under house arrest.

While NC president Farooq Abdullah was first placed under house arrest, he was on Tuesday booked under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).

His son Omar and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti were detained on the night of August 4.

Most of the mainstream leaders, including former ministers and legislators, were also either detained or kept under house arrest, the officials said.



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