Breaking : Kashmir remains under lockdown for third day in a row

Image Courtesy: The Hindu

Most shops and other business establishments in Kashmir were closed on Friday, the third consecutive day of a Valley-wide shutdown following a brief semblance of normalcy.

On Wednesday, posters warning shopkeepers against opening their shutters as well as public transport operators appeared at several places in the city and elsewhere in the Valley, officials said.

This ended the sense of the last few weeks that life was getting back to normal. Union Home minister Amit Shah had assured in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that normality has resumed in Kashmir and there is no curfew in any part of the state. Shah also insisted that the decision to lift the internet ban will be taken by the local authorities. He also added that basic amenities such as medicine and mobile medicine vans are put in place to help people.

Kashmir has been in a state of isolation since the central government abrogated article 370 on August 5. The internet services and telephone services were shut down in the state after the abrogation of article 370. On October 31st, Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union territories- Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh.

Authorities fear that vested interests might exploit large gatherings at the grand mosque to fuel protests, officials said.
Pre-paid mobile phones and all internet services continued to remain suspended since August 5.

Most top level and second rung separatist politicians are in preventive custody while mainstream leaders, including two former chief ministers, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been either detained or placed under house arrest.

The government has detained former chief minister and sitting Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah under the controversial Public Safety act, a law enacted by his father and National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1978 when he was the chief minister.

 

Story by Kiran Thakare with Inputs from PTI.