COVID-19: Streets, markets remain deserted as strict restrictions continue in Kashmir

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Srinagar: Streets and markets were deserted on Monday with locals voluntarily staying indoors in view of upward spiral in positive Coronavirus cases during the last 48 hours in Kashmir valley, where strict restrictions on movement and assembly of people continued for the 12th successive day.

Four more persons on Monday tested positive for Coronavirus in Kashmir valley, bringing the total number of infected people to 45 in J&K.

Asserting that people are still hiding their travel history which is putting the entire society at risk, J&K Union Territory spokesperson Rohit Kansal reiterated strict action anyone who hid his details. “A couple which tested positive in Srinagar on Saturday hid international travel history,” he said.

“Four more positives cases confirmed in Kashmir. All contacts of previous positive cases. Contact tracing working on ground,” he added.

Official sources told UNI that strict restrictions on movement and assembly of people continued for the 12th successive day across Kashmir valley.

Shops and business establishments remained closed while streets were deserted as locals and traffic were off the roads in the valley, where police vehicles fitted with public address system were directing people since early this morning to remain indoors in view of imposition of restrictions under 144 CrPc, barring assembly of more than three people.

Continuing its action against violators of government order, police has sealed many shops, hotels and educational institutes and arrested about 170 persons from Srinagar, Sopore, Handwara, Ganderbal and Anantnag in the valley since Tuesday. Over 80 vehicles have also been seized by police since Tuesday. Police is using drones in some areas in Srinagar to announce restrictions on the movement of people as part of the 21-day lockdown to combat coronavirus pandemic.

All educations institutes, including schools, colleges and universities, remained closed in the valley, where train services and public transport were suspended. However, despite government asserting that arrangements would be made for online classes for children no such arrangement has been made so far even as high speed internet service remained suspended since August 5, when special status of J&K was scrapped.

The streets in uptown and civil lines were deserted as shops and business establishment were closed and traffic was off the roads. Security forces were deployed in these areas, where people alleged that security personnel were not allowing them to move out of their houses. Similar situation was witnessed in downtown, where people also alleged that they were not allowed to move out of their houses even to buy groceries and vegetables.

The main roads in downtown and SeK remained closed with barbed wires at Nawa Kadal, Rajouri Kadal, Kawdara and Khanyar. Similar road blocks remained erected by security forces at Nowhatta, Rangar stop and Gojwara. “Security forces were making announcement through loudspeakers since early this morning, directing people to remain indoors in view of curfew imposed in the district,” Maimuna, a resident of Nawakadal, told UNI.

Similar reports of lockdown were received from other parts of the valley, including Kupwara and Baramulla in north, Budagm and Ganderbal in central and Anantnag, Pulwama Kulgam in south Kashmir.