Srinagar, Oct 3 : Shutdown completed two months on Thursday in Kashmir valley, where people are protesting against scrapping of Article 370 and 35 A, besides dividing the state into two Union Territories on August 5.
Officials said there were no curfew restrictions on Thursday in any part of the valley, where restrictions under Section 144 CrPC, banning assembly of four or more persons, continued as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order.
Meanwhile, situation remained by and large peaceful barring reports of few incidents of stone pelting in the valley, where train service, mobile and internet connectivity remained suspended since August 5. The divisional administration in Kashmir has ordered reopening of Higher Secondary Schools (HSS) from Thursday though students of primary, middle and high schools continued to stay away from August 5.
Historic Jamia Masjid in the Shehar-e-Khas (SeK), stronghold of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, remained closed for devotees since August 5. Large number of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF) remained deployed in the Jamia Market and outside the Masjid to maintain law and order. No prayers could be offered in the Masjid, including on Fridays, due to restrictions.
Shops and other business establishments remained closed in summer capital, Srinagar and its adjoining areas for the past two months while public transport, including State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC), was off the roads on Thursday. But, private vehicles were plying on most of the routes in the city and outskirts while a number of cabs were also seen plying on district routes from Srinagar.
Educational institutions still wore a deserted look as students continued to stay away though teachers and other staff remain present. Shops and business establishments were seen functioning for about three hours from 6am to 9am in the summer capital, including historic Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the city and other civil lines areas. However, the number of such shops was very less as compared to previous days.
Armed with automatic weapons and lathis, CPMF were seen deployed in strength in the city to prevent any law and order problem. Though there was no restriction on any road, security forces remained on high alert to close any road with barbed wire within shortest notice. Work in government offices and banks on main roads, particularly in the ground floor, remained affected. Elsewhere in the valley, there was no change in the situation and life remained paralysed with all shops and business establishments closed and traffic off the roads on Thursday.
Reports receiving from south Kashmir said that restrictions under section 144 CrPC remained imposed in Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama, Awantipora, Tral and Kulgam. Business and other activities remained shut and public transport off the roads. However, private vehicles could be seen plying on some routes, including on Srinagar-Jammu national highway, where additional security forces remained deployed on the highway to prevent any stone pelting.
Total shutdown completed two months in this and other north Kashmir districts and tehsil headquarters, a report from Baramulla said. Large number of CPMF remained deployed to prevent any law and order problem. However, private vehicles and some cabs could be seen plying on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway. Reports of continued strike were also received from central Kashmir districts of Budgam and Ganderbal.
Meanwhile, the administration has ordered reopening of HSS from Thursday in the valley after remaining closed since August 5. However, students of high schools continued to stay away from their classes as parents are still not ready to send their children to schools apprehending trouble.
The internet and mobile connectivity of all Cellular companies, including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) also remained suspended for the past 58 days in the valley. However, landline telephones are working normally.(UNI)