Normalcy returns after three days of shutdown

Kashmir returned to normalcy on Wednesday after consecutive three days of restrictions and strike called by the Joint resistance leadership in wake of killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Sabzar Ahmad Bhat in an encounter with government forces in Tral area of south Kashmir.

Authorities had lifted restrictions from all parts of Kashmir following which shops, offices and other business establishments remained opened, while public transport resumed as well.

However, a complete shutdown was observed in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district and Tral area on Wednesday.

Shutdown prevailed in south Kashmir districts on Saturday soon after Hizb Mujahidin commander Sabzar Ahmad and his associate, Faizan were trapped in a cordon.

Witnesses said the shops and other business establishments were closed after youth resorted to stone pelting. Police, however retaliated by lobbing tear gas shells on them.

“Mobile phone services continued to remain suspended in Tral area today,” residents said.

Interestingly the mobile services were snapped on Saturday post killing of Sabzar and his aide.

The mobile services however continued to remain suspended in Tral- Awantipora areas of south Kashmir on the fifth consecutive day on Wednesday, causing inconvenience to thousands of subscribers.

Interestingly, the authorities restored the outgoing call facility on prepaid numbers last night, but mobile Internet services continued to remain suspended across the valley as a precautionary measure.

Meanwhile, life limped back to normalcy in other districts of Kashmir.

Amid the normalcy, the class work in all Higher Secondary Schools and Colleges remained suspended for the third consecutive day across Kashmir.

However, the officials said that all schools and colleges in Pulwama and Anantnag district remained closed for the day.

Curfew-like restrictions were imposed on Sunday in the districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian in south Kashmir, as also in seven police station areas of Srinagar and in Sopore town in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

The restrictions were imposed in wake of the killing of Sabzar and his colleague.

The joint resistance leadership had called for a two-day strike from Sunday and had asked people to march to Tral on Tuesday to pay tributes to the slain militants.

Meanwhile, the Jammu-Srinagar highway was opened for a few hours on Wednesday and the authorities allowed stranded vehicles to pass on the highway.

Officials said around 750 vehicles left Jammu for Kashmir Valley in morning hours.

“All these stranded vehicles were allowed to pass till 11 AM today but no vehicle was allowed to move to Srinagar after that,” the officials said.

The highway was closed in view of apprehensions of trouble after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat was killed.

Meanwhile, the officials said the around 2000 vehicles were stranded on the highway near Lakhanpur during the past two days after parts.

“These vehicles were supposed to head towards Kashmir but they were stranded after some of the routes were closed for traffic as a precautionary measure in view of the prevailing situation in Kashmir,” the official said.


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