Day 70: Life Remains Disrupted In Kashmir

Photo: Abid Bhat / KO

SRINAGAR – Normal life remained hit in Kashmir for the 70th consecutive day on Sunday since the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution as the main markets continued to be shut and public transport stayed off the roads, even as the weekly flea market here was open, officials said.

The weekly flea market, locally known as the “Sunday market”, was open as several dozen vendors put up stalls on the TRC Chowk-Lal Chowk road, they added.

The market witnessed a huge rush of customers as people from different areas of the valley thronged it to buy clothes and other items in view of the approaching winter, the officials said.

The other markets and business establishments remained shut across the valley, even as a few shops were open here in the city till 10:30 am, they added.

Auto-rickshaws and a few inter-district cabs were seen plying here, but other modes of public transport were off the roads, the officials said, adding that the movement of private cars was less as compared to Saturday.

Mobile services remained suspended in Kashmir except in the Handwara and Kupwara areas in the north since the night of August 4. Internet services across all platforms also continued to be snapped in the valley, the officials said.

State government spokesperson Rohit Kansal told a press conference on Saturday that post-paid mobile phone services across all networks would be restored in Kashmir on Monday noon.

He also said about 99 per cent areas in Jammu and Kashmir were free from restrictions on the movement of people.

On August 5, the Centre abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the state into Union territories.

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

Another former chief minister and the 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 of Jammu and Kashmir.

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