Day 85: Shutdown Continues, Normal Life Remains Disrupted



KO Photo: Abid Bhat

SRINAGAR – An uneasy calm prevailed in the Kashmir Valley on Monday as normal life remained disrupted for the 85th consecutive day due to a spontaneous shutdown.

Private vehicles plied normally on almost all routes, medium sized public transport vehicles and auto rickshaws also registered an increase on various routes. Initially in small numbers, but now, inter-district movement of small and medium public transport medium has almost completely come back on various routes.

In Srinagar markets remained closed in Lal Chowk, Budshah Chowk, Maisuma, Chanpora, Rawalpora, Nowhatta, Khanyar and Nawpora for the day, some markets were open beyond morning and evening relaxation hours.

The areas were shop owners did not observe shutdown include Sanat Nagar, Shaheed Ganj, Jawahar Nagar and Ikhraj Pora.

Outside Batamaloo bus stand also cart vendors were seen in huge numbers selling vegetable, fruits and various other items.

Meanwhile the efforts of the state government to open schools have not borne any fruit as parents have continued to keep children at home due to apprehensions about their safety. However, authorities are making preparations for holding all board examinations as per schedule.
Colleges too, thrown open by the administration a fortnight back, wore a deserted look.

Although the members of teaching staff were present in their respective institutions, but with no students turning up for classes, they too returned back home early, without conducting any academic work.

In contrast to Central Kashmir, roads and highways in South as well as North, wore a deserted look.

In Kulgam, Pulwama and Tral townships of South Kashmir, the impact of shutdown was visible, with people staying away from work and confined to their homes. Somewhat similar situation was observed in North Kashmir’s Baramulla, Sopore and Handwara towns, while major markets and business establishments remained shut.

While postpaid mobile phones are now functional since 14th of October, prepaid mobile and internet services continued to stay barred for 85th consecutive day on Monday. Train service between Baramulla and Banihal also completed 85 days of suspension on Monday, keeping inter-district railway movement under halt for about three months now.

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.
The government has detained former chief minister and sitting Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah under the controversial Public Safety act.



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