Shops in Srinagar open in morning hours, private vehicles ply on roads
Srinagar: Some shops in the city opened in the morning hours on Wednesday but main markets and other business establishments across the Kashmir Valley remained shut for the 59th consecutive day.
Normal life in the valley has been disrupted following abrogation of Article 370 on August 5.
Official sources said increased movement of private transport was observed on Srinagar road while in some Civil Lines areas traffic jams were also witnessed. Despite a public holiday, a large number of people in their private cars, scooties and motor-cycles were seen plying on roads. Srinagar’s slope-selling market, known as Sunday Market was open where customers were seen buying articles. Auto-rickshaws were also seen ferrying passengers.
Besides Srinagar city, the shutdown is being observed in all the districts and towns of Kashmir including Budgam, Pakharpora, Ichgam, Chadoora, Kralpora, Beerwah, Magam, Khag, Ganderbal, Tulmula, Beehama, Lar, Kangan, Pulwam, Pampora, Kakapora, Awantipora, Letpora, Tral, Koil, Kulgam, DamhalhanjiPora, Koimu, Khudwani, Qazigund, Anantnag, Pahalgam, Ashmuqam, Bijbehara, Srigufwara, Khanabal, Shopian, Wachi, Rajpora, Kaprin, Baramulla, Sopore, Rafiabad, Pattan, Dangiwacha, Bandipora, Papchen, Hanjin, Sumbal, Ajas, Safapora, Kupwara, Lolab, Handwara, Kralpora and other areas.
Meanwhile, mobile services remained suspended in Kashmir except in Handwara and Kupwara areas in the north, while Internet services — across all platforms – continued to be snapped in the valley, officials said.
They said there are apprehensions that mobile and Internet services could be misused by anti-national elements to fuel violence in the valley.
The decision on restoring the services would be taken at an appropriate time after assessing the situation, they added.
The officials said there were no restrictions anywhere in the valley, but security forces were deployed in strength in vulnerable areas to maintain law and order.
Main markets and other business establishments across the valley remained shut on Wednesday. Some shops in the city here opened from 7:30 to 10:30 in the morning over the last few weeks, but extended the duration till 11 on Wednesday, the officials said. Public transport was off the roads for the 59th consecutive day, they said.
Notably, 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.
Another former chief minister and sitting Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah has been arrested under the controversial Public Safety Act. (with PTI and KNT inputs)