Srinagar, Aug 22: Life remained crippled for the 18th consecutive day on Thursday in Kashmir valley due to restrictions and spontaneous strike since August 5, when Article 370 and 35 A were scrapped by the Centre. According to officials, there was no report of any major untoward incident during the night in the valley, where restrictions were eased in majority areas, including in summer capital, Srinagar. Restrictions were eased in some more areas in the downtown and Shehar-e-Khas (SeK) though business and other activities remained crippled. All gates of historic Jamia masjid, stronghold of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, remained closed and large number of security forces and state police personnel remained deployed to prevent any assembly.
Business and other activities remained crippled in the downtown and SeK and outskirts. A large number of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF) and state police personnel remained deployed to thwart any demonstration. Residents alleged that they are facing acute shortage of essentials, particularly milk, baby food, vegetables and medicine. Milkmen and vegetable sellers from outskirts are not able to come from outskirts due to restrictions and strike. The local bread makers on main roads also remained closed. However, in the interior areas, shops selling essentials, including bread and milk, remained open in the morning from 0600 hrs to 0900 hrs. Similarly, in the evenings some shops are functioning from 1900 hrs, when security forces withdraw for the night, to 2200 hrs.
Shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the road in summer capital, Srinagar and outskirts for the 18th day on Thursday. However, private vehicles, including two-wheelers could be seen plying in the civil lines, uptown and outskirts. Though there is no road block in the civil lines and uptown, hundreds of security forces and state police personnel remained deployed to maintain peace. Historic Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the city, was open for civilian movement. However, shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the road. Work in government offices and banks also remained affected though most employees attended their offices.
According to officials, 60 per cent to 90 per cent officials are attending their duties, including in Civil Secretariat, seat of the government housing the office of Governor, his advisors. Reports of shut down were also received from other district and tehsil headquarters, in the Kashmir valley. However, exact situation in these districts could not be ascertained due to suspension of communication network. Life remained paralysed in this and other north Kashmir district and tehsil headquarters, a report from Baramulla said. Restrictions were reimposed in Kupwara town on Wednesday and nobody was being allowed to enter the main town.
Large number of security force personnel remained deployed in Baramulla, where a Lashker-e-Toiba(LeT) militant and a Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police were killed in an encounter in the old town on Wednesday. Security forces and state police personnel remained deployed in strength in apple township of Sopore, Pattan, Palhalan, Bandipora, Ajas and other areas in north Kashmir. Business and other activities remained crippled since August 5 in this and other south Kashmir district and tehsil headquarters, a report from Shopian said.
Work in government offices and banks remained affected. Large number of security forces remained deployed to maintain peace and order. Reports of strike were also received from central Kashmir districts of Ganderbal and Badgam, where shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads. However, private vehicles were seen plying on some routes. UNI