September 29, 2019

Day-56: Life remains crippled in Kashmir

Srinagar: There was no change in the situation as life remained crippled for the 56th day on Sunday in the Kashmir valley, where people are protesting against scrapping of Article 370 and 35 A, besides dividing the state into two Union Territories.

Meanwhile, security forces burst teargas shells and resorted to lathicharge to disperse demonstrators who were raising slogans and pelting stones at several places in the down town, Shehar-e-Kashmir and uptown area of the city on Saturday evening. Dozens of vehicles were damaged in the stone pelting.

There were no curfew restrictions in any part of the valley, officials said. However, restrictions under Section 144 CrPC, banning assemble of four or more persons, continued as a precautionary measure in the valley to maintain law and order, they said.

Meanwhile, gag on communication network continued in the valley, where internet and mobile service of all Cellular companies, including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), remained suspended since August 5 to prevent rumours. However, landline telephones were functioning in the valley.

All gates of historic Jamia Masjid 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, including on Fridays, were offered in the Masjid, stronghold of chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, since August 5 due to restrictions.

Shops and other business establishments remained closed in summer capital, Srinagar and its adjoining areas for the past 56 days while public transport was off the roads on Sunday. The State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) buses also remained off the roads. However, private vehicles were plying though less in numbers as compared to previous days. The civil lines, including historic Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of summer capital today witnessed deserted look with only security forces deployed in strength.

Reports received said restrictions were being strictly imposed in some sensitive areas in south Kashmir district of Anantnag , where shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads.

Similar reports were also received from other main town and tehsil headquarters, including Kulgam, Shopian, Pulwama, Pampore, Tral and Awantipora. There was also no change in the situation in Kupwara, Baramulla, Bandipora, Pattan, Sopore, Handwara and Ajas in north Kashmir. Reports of shutdown were also received from central Kashmir districts of Ganderbal and Budgam.

Meanwhile, train service between Baramulla in south Kashmir to Banihal in Jammu region remained suspended for security reasons since August 5.

Landline telephone service were resumed in the valley. However, mobile and internet service of all Cellular companies remained suspended since August 5, badly hitting professional, media persons, students besides traders and government departments in the valley.

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