Day 64: Normal Life Remains Disrupted In Kashmir

Photo: Abid Bhat / KO

SRINAGAR - Normal life remained affected in Kashmir for the 64th consecutive day on Monday as main markets continued to be shut and public transport off the roads, officials said.

The historic Jamia Masjid in the Shehar-e-Khas remained closed for devotees since August 5. All gates of the historic worship place are locked and Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF) remained deployed in the Jamia Market and outside the Masjid to maintain law and order.

No prayers could be offered in the Masjid, including on Fridays due to restrictions.  Shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was also off the roads.

Business and other activities remained suspended in summer capital, Srinagar and its adjoining areas for the past 64 days. Public transport, including State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) buses, also remained off the roads on Monday. But, private vehicles were plying on most of the routes in the city and outskirts while a number of cabs were also seen operating on some district routes in the morning.

A few vendors had set up stalls on the TRC Chowk-Lal Chowk road here, they added.

The officials said there were no restrictions anywhere in the valley, but security forces were deployed in strength in vulnerable areas to maintain law and order.

While landline telephone services were restored across the valley gradually, mobile services remained suspended in Kashmir since the night of 4 August, the officials said.

On August 5, the Centre had revoked the special status enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.

Internet services -- across all platforms also continued to be snapped in the valley, they said.

Most of the top level and second rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders, including two former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been either detained or placed under house arrest.

Another former chief minister and Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah has been arrested under the controversial Public Safety Act, a law enacted by his father and National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1978 when he was the chief minister.

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