Day 94: Kashmir Valley Remains Shut

Photo: Abid Bhat / KO

SRINAGAR – Business activities, internet and pre-paid mobile and train service remained suspended for the 94th day on Wednesday in Kashmir valley, where people are protesting against scrapping of Article 370 and 35 A, besides downgrading the state and dividing it into two Union Territories (UTs) on August 5.

There is no curfew in any part of the valley, including summer capital, Srinagar, police said on Tuesday. However, to maintain law and order problem, restrictions under Section 144 CrPC, prohibiting assemble of four or more persons, also remained imposed in the valley.

All gates of historic Jamia Masjid in the down town remained closed for devotees since August 5. Large number of Central Armed Paramilitary Force (CAPF) are deployed in the Jamia market and outside to prevent people from entering the worship place, stronghold of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, who is currently under house arrest.

As usual business and other activities resumed in most parts of Srinagar, including historic Lal Chowk and Gantaghar this morning at 0700 hrs. However, less number of shops and business establishments were open today as compared to previous days.

Roadside vendors were still missing in the area where one person was killed and over 35 others injured in a grenade attack by unidentified persons in civil line area on Monday afternoon. However, life again came to halt at 1100 hrs when shopkeepers closed their establishments and left for home.

Public transport, including State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) buses remained off the roads since August 5. Private vehicles and three wheelers were also seen plying on different routes, particularly in the uptown and civil lines. A number of cabs were seen plying on some routes. Train service between Baramulla in north and Banihal in Jammu also remained suspended since August 5.

Pre-paid mobile service and internet service, including Broadband of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) also remained suspended for the past 94 days.

Life remained paralysed due to strike in this and other north Kashmir towns, a report from Baramulla said. Traffic was off the roads though good number of vehicles were seen plying in the district. Additional security forces remained deployed at sensitive places to prevent any law and order problem.

Shops and business establishments remained closed in this and other district and tehsil headquarters of south Kashmir on Wednesday, a report from Anantnag said. However, private vehicles were seen plying on the roads but passenger traffic remained off the roads. Complete shutdown also continued in south Kashmir district of Kulgam.

There was no change in the situation as similar reports were also received from central Kashmir districts of Ganderbal and Budgam.

3 held for threatening posters in South Kashmir

Three persons were arrested on Wednesday for “threatening and intimidating” locals in South Kashmir’s Awantipora using posters issued by proscribed terror outfits Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba, officials said.

“Three persons were arrested and incriminating materials including threat posters were recovered from their possession,” a senior police official said.

Initial investigation into the matter revealed that these individuals were involved in publishing and circulating threat posters in Ladhoo area of Khrew Awantipora, he said.

An FIR under relevant sections of the law has been registered against them, he said.

The three have been taken to the police station and incriminating materials recovered from them taken into records for the purpose of investigation, official said.

He said that further investigation in the matter is underway.

Officials also appealed to the public to share information about such people who are intimidating locals.

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