SRINAGAR – Several areas in Kashmir, including parts of Srinagar, witnessed a complete shutdown on Wednesday after posters warning shopkeepers against the opening of shops appeared overnight, officials said.
There was a complete shutdown in several areas in downtown (Old City) of Srinagar on Wednesday as shopkeepers did not open their business establishments in the morning, they said.
The officials said the shutdown was also witnessed in Ganderbal town in central Kashmir and Anantnag town in south Kashmir.
They said the shutdown was being observed after some miscreants threatened the shopkeepers and posters, warning them of dire consequences if they opened their business establishments, appeared at some places overnight.
There was lesser movement of public transport in these areas, they added.
However, in the Civil Lines areas of the city and other parts of the Valley, life was limping back to normalcy, the officials said.
Several schools reopened here on Tuesday after remaining closed for over three months due to the unannounced shutdown following the Centre’s decision to abrogate the Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370.
The officials said several private schools in the city here resumed classes but asked the students to come without wearing the uniform.
The move to resume classes came as public transport has started to ply in the valley and the life was fast returning to normalcy.
The city and most areas elsewhere in the valley saw a significant improvement in the movement of public transport since Monday.
The officials said the intra-district as well as the inter-district connectivity has improved significantly.
Auto-rickshaws and inter-district cabs have been plying for a while now, but in the last few days, the movement of intra-district cabs across the valley has also increased, they added.
The officials said the private transport was plying unhindered.
On Sunday, the rail service from Srinagar to Banihal also resumed.
The train service in the valley was suspended due to security reasons on August 3, days before the Centre’s decision over Article 370 on August 5.
The Centre’s decision led to an unannounced shutdown in the valley even as authorities imposed severe restrictions which were later gradually eased out.
Markets at most places, including in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk, have been following a new pattern of functioning — opening early morning till around the noon.
The shopkeepers down their shutters in the afternoon — at some places in the late afternoon — to join the protest against the abrogation of the special status of the state, the officials said.
Pre-paid mobile phones and all internet services continue to remain suspended since August 5.
Most of the top level and second rung separatists 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, a law enacted by his father and National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1978 when he was the chief minister.