Day 78: Stalemate Continues in Kashmir Valley

A motorcyclist moving through the deserted business hub Lal Chowk in Srinagar amid shutdown

SRINAGAR - The stalemate in Kashmir, following abrogation of Article 370, continued as normal life remained affected in the valley for the 78th consecutive day on Monday with main markets shut and public transport off the roads, officials said.

Some shops opened for few hours early in the morning in some areas including in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk in the city here, but downed their shutters around 11 am, the officials said.

However, main markets and other business establishments were shut, they said.

Private transport was plying and the number of vehicles was higher than Sunday, leading to traffic jams at various spots in the city, they said.

Auto-rickshaws and few inter-district cabs were also seen plying in few areas of the valley, they added.

However, the other modes of public transport were off the roads.

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

Schools and colleges were open, but the students stayed away as parents continued to keep their wards at home due to apprehensions about their safety, the officials 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 sitting 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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