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Kashmir curfew ends, but separatists' shutdown continues

Source: PTI
August 30, 2016 12:15 IST
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Curfew was on Tuesday lifted from the restive Pulwama town following gradual improvement in the situation across Kashmir, leaving the city’s M R Gunj and Nowhatta police stations as the only areas of the Valley under curbs, even as normal life remained affected for 53rd day due to separatists-sponsored strike call.

“Only two police station areas in Srinagar city -- M R Gunj and Nowhatta -- are under curfew today,” a police officer said, adding that no other area in Valley was under curfew which was put in place in the wake of violence following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

Curfew has been lifted from Pulwama town where prohibitory orders were in force till Monday, the officer said.

He said the decision to lift curbs was taken following improvement in the situation.

There were minor stone-pelting incidents at a few places on Monday, but the overall situation remained peaceful and under control throughout the Valley, he said.

Curfew was on Monday lifted from the entire Valley except three police station areas 51 days after it was clamped to maintain law and order.

The officer, however, said security forces have been deployed in strength in sensitive areas of the Valley to maintain law and order.

Life in Srinagar city has started limping towards normalcy since Monday as there was increased movement of private cars and auto-rickshaws on the roads.

Tuesday morning also, there was increased traffic in and around the commercial hub of Lal Chowk. However, public transport continued to be off the roads due to the strike called by separatist groups who have asked women to assemble and occupy local chowks and centres from ‘Zuhr’ (afternoon prayer) to ‘Asr’ (late afternoon prayer) in the vicinity of towns, villages and localities.

Even as schools, colleges and other educational institutions and shops remained closed due to the strike, the attendance in government offices and work in banks have
improved since Monday, the officer said.

Curfew was clamped in entire Valley on July 9 following violence in the aftermath of killing of Wani in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district a day earlier.

The violence has left 68 people, including two policemen, dead and several thousand injured.

Meanwhile, mobile internet continued to remain suspended in the entire Valley, where the outgoing facility on prepaid mobiles remained barred.

The separatist camp, which is spearheading the agitation in the Valley over the civilian killings during the protests against Wani’s killing, has extended the strike call in the Valley till September 1.

Image: Security forces were still deployed in the Valley after minor incidents of stone pelting were reported. Photograph: PTI


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