Day 54: Curbs Re-imposed In Kashmir Valley

An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard near a barricade during restrictions in Srinagar. Photo: Abid Bhat / KO

SRINAGAR – Restrictions which had been gradually eased over past weeks were re-imposed on 54th consecutive day of lockdown in Kashmir valley on Friday.

Lal Chowk area was completely sealed and access towards Maisuma, Ghanta Ghar, Abi Guzar and Regal Chowk in civil lines area were blocked by concertina wires, while people were stopped from going towards Nowhatta, Zaina Kad, Rajouri Kadal, Rainawari areas of downtown Srinagar, to thwart any attempt to organize protests after Friday prayers.

Heavy deployment of security forces was witnessed across the valley, while sensitive areas were completely sealed with concertina wires and police and force personnel maintaining a strict vigil on entry and exit points.

Historical Jamia Masjid remained locked for eighth consecutive Friday, disallowing Jumma prayers, while in Hazratbal and other big mosques also prayers were not allowed.

People offered prayers in their local mosques and for the rest of the day stayed indoors, while roads and highways across the valley wore a deserted look. Even private vehicular traffic, which had considerably increased over past oneweek, largely stayed off the roads, while the miniscule public transport also disappeared.

The restrictions were also imposed in Ganderbal, Anantnag, Awantipora, Sopore and Handwara towns of the valley.

The officials said the curbs were imposed as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order in view of the Friday congregational prayers.

However people largely stayed indoors today following hype over UN address of Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers.

Attendances of employees in government offices also remained affected. No work was undertaken in various courts and Tehsil offices.

Mobile and internet services continued to remain suspended across the valley, except in Kupwara and Handwara, where authorities have restored these services, but with a complaint of poor connectivity from the locals.

A complete shutdown was observed in Banaihal and Chinab valley of Jammu region. Shops, business establishments, educational institutions and government offices observed a complete shutdown in Banihal, Doda, Bhadarwah and Kishtiwar regions.

Schools, Colleges and universities across the valley and in Banihal and Chinab valley of Jammu region remained completely shut and students away from their classes.

Train services between Baramulla and Banihal remained suspended for 54th consecutive day affecting railway travel between the two destinations on the opposite side of Jawahar Tunnel, connecting valley with Jammu division.




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