Thousands of students on Monday appeared in the annual board examinations in unrest-hit Kashmir, where life is showing signs of limping back to normalcy.
There was a significant increase in movement of people and transport across the Valley as the annual board examinations began, officials said in Srinagar.
About 484 centres have been set up for about 48,000 candidates for class 12 examination across Kashmir division. The government had decided to hold the exams as scheduled despite demands by parents that they be put off as the unrest had disrupted educational activities in the Valley.
Massive security arrangements are in place for the smooth conduct of the examinations. However, there were no restrictions on the movement of people anywhere in the Valley, the officials said.
Along with the heavy rush of vehicles, shops were also open in areas like civil lines and outskirts of the city as well as in few of the rural areas in other districts of Kashmir.
Inter-district cabs were also plying on different routes, the officials said.
Many vendors had put up their stalls along TRC Chowk-Batamaloo axis through Lal Chowk city centre, while banks were also open across the Valley and witnessed rush of customers.
However, many shops, fuel stations and other business establishments in other areas of the Valley were shut due to a separatist-sponsored strike.
The separatists have been issuing weekly protest programmes since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani in July.
As many as 85 people, including two police men, have been killed and several thousand others injured in the ongoing unrest in the Valley. Around 5000 security forces personnel have also been injured in the clashes.
Photographs: Umar Ganie