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Banks, govt offices reopen, private cars back on roads as curfew lifted in most parts of Kashmir

According to a police official curfew has been lifted from all parts of Kashmir except Pulwama town and a few areas in Srinagar.

By: PTI | Srinagar |
Updated: August 29, 2016 11:54:11 am
A Kashmiri man pushes his bicycle carrying cooking gas cylinder as it rains in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016. A strict curfew, a series of communication blackouts and a tightening crackdown have failed to stop some of Kashmir's largest protests against Indian rule in recent years, triggered by the killing of a popular rebel commander on July 8. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan) While public transport continued to be off the roads, there was increased movement of private cars and auto-rickshaws on the roads in Srinagar on Monday morning. AP Photo

Life in Srinagar city on Monday started limping towards normalcy as authorities lifted curfew from entire Kashmir Valley except three police station areas after 51 days of continuous curfew following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. “Curfew has been lifted from Kashmir except from Pulwama town and the areas in Srinagar falling under the jurisdiction of police stations M R Gunj and Nowhatta,” a police official said.

He said the curbs were lifted following improvement in the situation. “However, the security forces will remain deployed in strength in sensitive areas of the Valley to maintain law and order,” the official said. Curfew was clamped in entire Valley on July 9 following violence in the aftermath of Wani’s killing in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district a day earlier. The violence has left 68 people, including two cops, dead and several thousand injured.

While public transport continued to be off the roads, there was increased movement of private cars and auto-rickshaws on the roads in Srinagar on Monday morning, the official said. Minor traffic jams were seen along the Rambagh-Jawahar Nagar-Rajbagh axis leading to commercial hub of Lal Chowk due to the increased movement of private vehicles.

The attendance in government offices also showed an upward trend with a majority of employees reporting for work. The banks were also open and witnessed a massive rush of customers as soon as they opened.

However, schools, colleges and other educational institutions and shops remained closed due to the strike called by separatists groups who have asked people to lock down all government offices, except essential services on Monday. “Except for essential services, lock down all government offices and don’t allow movement of any employee towards these offices for joining,” the separatists said in their weekly protest programme.

Meanwhile, mobile internet continued to remain suspended in the Valley, where the outgoing facility on prepaid mobiles remained barred. The separatist camp, which is spearheading the agitation in the Valley over civilian killings during the protests against Burhan Wani’s killing, has extended the strike call in the Valley till September 1.

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