Life returns to normal after day-long strike in Kashmir

Srinagar, Jun 3: Life returned to normal on Sunday in Kashmir valley after remaining crippled due to a strike called by separatists on Saturday.
Meanwhile, restrictions, which were imposed in the downtown, Shehar-e-Khas (SeK) Srinagar and parts of civil lines as a precautionary measure, were lifted.
However, the famous ‘Sunday market’ in the summer capital, Srinagar was closed in view of unprecedented security arrangements put in place for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rally at S K Park.
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq and Mohammad Yaseen Malik, had called for a general strike on Saturday against the alleged increase in civilian killings, desecration of religious places, unnecessary and unjustified deployment of heavy contingent of forces in Jamia Masjid area, desecration of graveyards of martyrs, chopping off of fruit orchards at Sugam Shopian and plight of prisoners in various jails, including Tihar.
Shops and business establishments, which remain open on Sundays, are doing normal business and traffic on all routes was plying normally in summer capital, Srinagar, and other major towns and tehsil headquarters in the valley.
All the shops were open in the main business hubs in civil lines, including historic Lal Chowk, Gonikhan, Residency Road, Maulana Azad Road, Mahraj Bazar, Batamaloo, Iqbal Park, Dalgate, Regal Chowk and Budshah Chowk.
The situation was no different in the uptown, where shops and business establishments reopened after day-long strike on Saturday.
But, Jamia masjid market remained closed in protest against the death of a youth, who was hit and critically wounded by a CRPF vehicle in the downtown on Friday afternoon during protests.
Shops and business establishments were also closed in Fateh Kadal, which is the native place of the youth — Qiesar Ahmad Bhat — who succumbed to his injured in the wee hours on Saturday at SK Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS).
Security forces have been deployed in strength around S K Park while all roads leading to the venue, where Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is expected to address the rally, have been closed with barbed wires.
Security personnel have closed all entry points, including from TRC, Radio Kashmir and Polo View, and no vehicle or civilians are allowed near the venue. Only people with valid passes after thorough checking are being allowed to move towards S K Park.
Meanwhile, reports of normalcy were also received from other parts of the Valley, including Baramulla, Sopore, Bandipora and Pattan in north Kashmir and Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian in south Kashmir. However, security forces remained deployed in some sensitive areas to prevent any law and order problem.
Business and other activities also resumed in the twin central Kashmir districts of Budgam and Ganderbal.