Srinagar, Aug 28 : Schools and offices witnessed very low footfall, business and other activities were almost nonexistent while public transport not available in the Kashmir valley on Wednesday due to strike against the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into Union Territories on August 5. The situation remained by and large peaceful and there was no report of any untoward incident during the night in the valley, officials said. There were no restrictions in any part of Srinagar.
However, a large number of security forces remained deployed to reinforce restrictions in case of any emergency. Private vehicles, particularly two-wheeler, were plying on most of the roads in the civil lines, uptown and outskirts. Public transport, including the buses of State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC), remained off the roads in the Kashmir valley, including summer capital, Srinagar, where people are protesting against the decision of Parliament.
All gates of the historic Jamia Masjid, stronghold of Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, have remained closed since August 5 morning. No prayers, including on Friday, had been allowed in the place since the imposition of restrictions in the downtown. Large number of security force personnel, wearing bullet proof jackets and holding lathis were seen in the Jamia Market and outside the worship place.
All main business hubs wore a deserted look as shops remained closed. A large number of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF) personnel remained deployed after every ten feet to maintain law and order. A good number of roadside vendors selling vegetables and fruits were seen in the civil lines and outskirts. Work in government offices and banks was near normal though some employees could not make it to their offices due to non availability of transport facility.
Only those having their own vehicle could make it to their offices. Many were seen walking to their offices. Educational institutions remained closed though administration has ordered reopening of high schools from Wednesday. Security force personnel remained deployed in the city though road blocks have been removed. The situation in the downtown and Shehar-e-Khas (Sek) was entirely different as shops and other business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads. Only two wheelers and some private vehicles were seen plying on some routes.
However, work in banks and other government offices continued to suffer as employees could not make it to their offices. Educational institutions, tuition and coaching centres remained closed. Reports of restrictions and shut down were also received from other district and tehsil headquarters in Kashmir valley. However, exact situation in these districts could not be ascertained due to suspension of communication network. Business and other activities remained crippled since August 5 in this and other south Kashmir district and tehsil headquarters, a report from Anantnag said.
A 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 Budgam, where shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic off the roads. However, private vehicles were seen plying on some routes. Life also remained paralysed in other north Kashmir district and tehsil headquarters with shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic off the roads, a report from Baramulla said.
Security forces and state police personnel remained deployed in strength in major towns, including in apple township of Sopore, Pattan, Palhalan, Bandipora, Ajas and other areas in north Kashmir. Adequate security forces remained deployed on bridges over river Jehlum connecting old town with civil lines to prevent any procession or clashes.UNI