Barring Shopian, life returns to normal in Kashmir

Srinagar, Mar 8: Barring south Kashmir district of Shopian, life returned to normal on Thursday in the valley, after remaining crippled due to restrictions imposed by authorities and strike called by the separatists on Wednesday.
However, all educational institutions remained closed as a precautionary measure for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday in the valley, where all examinations have also been postponed, though there was no strike call from any separatist organisation.
Restrictions imposed on Wednesday morning as a precautionary measure under Section 144 of CrPC in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of seven police stations in the Shehar-e-Khas (SeK), downtown, old city and civil lines, have been lifted.
Shops and business establishments reopened in Srinagar and traffic was plying on all routes normally since this morning, including the areas where security forces removed road blocks, which were placed on Wednesday to impose restrictions. Work in government offices and banks and other public sector undertakings was normal.
Meanwhile, the main gates of historic Jamia Masjid, stronghold of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, which were closed on Wednesday, are open for devotees. The shopkeepers have resumed work in Jamia Market, where security forces and police personnel have been withdrawn.
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq and Mohammad Yaseen Maik, had called for a general strike against the shifting of detenues to outside the valley jails on Wednesday.
The JRL had also called for Shopian Challo against the killing of six persons, including two Lashkher-e-Toiba (LeT) militants, on Sunday evening, in an encounter by security forces.
Reports of normalcy were received from Kupwara and other north Kashmir towns and tehsil headquarters with business and other establishments functioning normally and traffic plying on all routes. But, a complete shutdown was observed in parts of Baramulla, where a police vehicle hit and killed an elderly person on Wednesday night at Delina, evoking massive protest.
Life also returned to normal in central Kashmir district of Budgam and Ganderbal, where business and other activities resumed after remaining closed on Wednesday, due to strike called by the separatists.
Normal activities also resumed in south Kashmir district of Anantnag, Pulwama and Kulgam. However, life remained affected in Shopian, where shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads since Monday.