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Shutdown completes 13 weeks in Kashmir; train, internet services remain suspended
Jammu & Kashmir

Shutdown completes 13 weeks in Kashmir; train, internet services remain suspended

Agency News

Srinagar, Nov 3: An uneasy calm continued even as the shutdown in Kashmir valley completed 13 weeks on Sunday against scrapping of special status of Jammu and Kashmir, which has been downgraded from a state and bifurcated into two Union Territories (UTs).

However, the famous 3-km-long Sunday market, in the summer capital, Srinagar, was abuzz with customers, who had thronged in large numbers to buy warm clothes, including Jackets and sweaters, ahead of winter season.

Meanwhile, despite incessant rain since late last night, security forces remained on high alert to maintain law and order in the valley, where almost all politicians of different political parties, including three former chief ministers -- Dr Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti -- remain under detention since August 5.

A police official said that there was no curfew in any part of the valley, including summer capital, Srinagar, where civil secretariat, seat of the Lt Governor and senior bureaucrats closed last week to reopen in winter capital, Jammu, on Monday.

He said restrictions under Section 144 CrPC, preventing assembly of four or more persons, remained imposed and security forces remained deployed in strength across the valley as a precautionary measure.

The gag on internet service and pre-paid mobile network of all Cellular companies, including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), continued since August 5 as a precautionary measure in the valley, where train service also remained suspended for the past 91 days in the valley for security reasons.

All gates to historic Jamia Masjid in the downtown remained closed to prevent assembly of people in the worship place, stronghold of chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq.

The Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs) remained deployed in the Jamia market and outside the Masjid, where no prayers, including on Fridays, were held since August 5.

Less number of shops and business establishments reopened in Srinagar, including historic Lal Chowk and Gantaghar, this morning at 0700 hrs due to incessant rain and chilly weather conditions. Traffic jam was witnessed at some places in the morning due to waterlogging in the city.

However, despite improvement in the weather conditions, life again came to halt at 1000 hrs when shopkeepers closed their establishments and left for home.

Transport service, including the buses of State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) buses, remained off the roads. But, good number of private vehicles and three-wheelers were seen plying on different routes, particularly in the uptown and civil lines. However, very less number of vehicles were seen plying in the downtown.

Shops and business establishments, which remain open on Sundays, remained closed in this and other district and tehsil headquarters of south Kashmir, a report from Anantnag said. However, a good number of private vehicles were seen plying on the roads but passenger traffic remained off the roads. Complete shutdown also continued in south Kashmir district of Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama.

A report from Baramulla said that business and other activities remained crippled since August 5 in this and other north Kashmir districts. Traffic was off the roads though some vehicles were seen plying on Srinagar-Uri highway. Additional security forces have been deployed on bridges, connecting down town with civil lines in Baramulla and Sopore towns to foil any demonstration.

Similar reports were also received from central Kashmir districts of Ganderbal and Budgam. (UNI)