While Kashmir has been gradually returning to normalcy, movement of people and traffic was comparatively less on Thursday due to apprehension of law and order problems after the Friday congregational prayers. The unrest in the Valley, triggered after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8, has seen separatists inciting protests after the Friday prayers that turn violent leading to clashes with security forces.
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Officials said many shops, fuel stations and other business establishments were shut in most areas of Kashmir. Most of the public transport in the Valley was also off the roads. However, in some areas in the civil lines and the outskirts of Srinagar – the summer capital of the state – few passenger vehicles, including auto-rickshaws, were seen plying, the officials said. They said few shops were also open in these areas as well as in some other towns of the Valley.
Some vendors have put up their stalls along TRC Chowk-Batamaloo axis through Lal Chowk city centre, they said. The separatists have been issuing weekly protest programmes. However, with more and more people defying the separatists’ strike call, they have announced two full days of relaxation on Saturday and Sunday in the agitation programme — the first full day relief since July 8.
As many as 86 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.
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