Situation In Valley Inching Back To Normalcy

Public transport vehicles plying on Srinagar roads. (Photo: Abid Bhat / KO)

SRINAGAR – Normal life remained crippled as shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads on Tuesday in Anantang district while other parts of Kashmir valley were inching towards normalcy.

However, prepaid mobile and internet service of all cellular companies, including BSNL, remained suspended since August 5, when Article 370 and Article 35 A were scrapped and the state was divided into two Union Territories (UTs).

A police official told UNI that there was no curfew in any part of the valley on Tuesday. However, he said restrictions under section 144 CrPc, prohibiting assembly of more than four people at a place, continued and security forces remained deployed in strength to maintain law and order.

Meanwhile, railway service between Baramulla in north Kashmir and Banihal in Jammu region via central and south Kashmir was operational though trains will run only between 1000 hrs to 1500 hrs for security reasons.

Shops and business establishments were closed and transport remained off the roads in Anantnag for the second successive day on Tuesday. Business and other activities had almost returned to normal in Anantnag during the past about a week. But, sources said that since Monday business and other activities again came to a grinding halt while traffic went off the roads in Anantnag.

The situation was slightly different in other south Kashmir districts, where shops reopened for three hours in the morning only to be closed at around 1200 hrs. But, private vehicles were plying normally on all roads and few inter-district cabs could also be seen on all routes.

All gates of the historic Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar remained closed since August 5. However, Jamia market reopens for few hours in the morning only to be closed in the noon though Central Armed Paramilitary Force (CAPF) remained deployed in strength in the area to prevent protests. Friday prayers have not been allowed since August 5 in Jamia Masjid, stronghold of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, who is currently under house arrest.

Many shops in the city, particularly in uptown and civil lines, including Lal Chowk, remained open throughout the day on Tuesday. A heavy rush of traffic, including cabs and other passenger vehicles, besides private vehicles, continued to ply on majority roads in the city.

Most shops and business establishments reopened this morning in Srinagar, including in uptown, civil lines and downtown. However, after functioning for about three to four hours from 0900 hrs, everything again came to halt as shopkeepers closed their establishments and left for home.

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

Similar reports were also received from central Kashmir districts of Ganderbal and Budgam, where life was limping back to normal.


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