SRINAGAR – After functioning normally since morning, shops and business establishments were again closed in the afternoon on Friday in the Kashmir valley, where people are protesting against scrapping of Article 370 and 35 A, besides dividing the state into two Union Territories (UTs) on August 5.
Meanwhile, internet services of all Cellular companies and pre-paid mobile service, including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) remained suspended in the valley since August 5, as a precautionary measure to prevent rumours.
Leaders of different political parties, including three former Chief Ministers—Dr Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti– former minister and legislators also remained under detention since August 5.
Public transport, including the buses and other vehicles of State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) , are now plying almost all routes normally. Cabs, passenger buses and other vehicles besides private cars and two wheelers are now hitting the road since morning till late in the night, leading to often traffic jam on busy routes. However, schools and university buses remained off the roads.
As usual majority shops and business establishments reopened this morning in the civil lines, including in the historic Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the summer capital. However, after functioning till 1300 hrs, shutters were again closed and security forces remained deployed to maintain law and order.
In other parts of the city, including in the outskirts and uptown, similar situation was witnessed. However, in the down town and Shehar-e-Khas (SeK) very less number shops were functioning today.
There was no change in the situation in Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama in north Kashmir, where majority shops and business establishments were functioning in the morning for more than four to five hours. Large number of cabs and other public transport vehicles were plying.
Shops and business establishments were functioning partially in central Kashmir district of Budgam in the morning and evening for several hours, where some public transport vehicles were also plying.
A report from Baramulla said that life was near normal in this and other north Kashmir towns despite fresh snowfall which has resulted in cold. Majority shops and business establishments were functioning and transport was also plying on most routes. However, large number of security forces remained deployed to maintain law and order.