Increased movement of people and traffic in Srinagar and other main towns of Kashmir hinted at return of normalcy in the Valley where separatists have called for a meeting of all stakeholders today to chalk out the future course of action with regard to the current unrest.
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Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, and some other main towns of the Valley witnessed increased movement of people and public transport, except buses, as more people defied the separatist diktats by coming out to carry out their day-to-day activities, officials said.
They said a large number of taxis, auto-rickshaws and private cars were seen plying in the city especially in the areas in civil lines and the outskirts, including in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk. Inter-district cabs also plied on the routes connecting many district headquarters with the city, the officials said, adding reports of increased movement of traffic were received from other main towns of the Valley as well.
Some shops were also open in these areas, while there was huge rush of customers at banks, the officials said. They said there were no curbs on the movement of people anywhere in Kashmir, but adequate deployment of security forces has been made on some vulnerable points to maintain law and order as well as to instill a sense of security among the people to carry out their day-to-day activities.
However, most of the shops, fuel stations and other business establishments were shut elsewhere in the Valley due to the separatist-sponsored strike. They are expected to open in the evening as the separatists have announced a 15-hour relaxation in the strike from 4 PM onwards.
The ongoing unrest in Kashmir, triggered by killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8, has completed four months. The separatists, who are spearheading the ongoin agitation in the Valley, have called for a meeting of all stakeholders at hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s residence today to chalk out the future course of action.
There is an urge to take all the stakeholders into confidence for taking the ongoing movement forward. All the forums among whom traders, educationists, transporters, civil society members, religious, social and political organizations, bar association and people from other walks of life have been called at Hyderpora to jointly deliberate and discuss future course of action, the separatists said in a joint statement on Sunday.
The decision to invite the stakeholders came after a meeting of chairmen of both Hurriyat factions Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Yasin Malik at Geelani’s residence earlier on the same day. As many as 85 people, including two cops, have been killed and several thousand others injured in the ongoing unrest in the Valley.