Barring Kulgam, life returns to normal in Kashmir

Srinagar, Jul 26: Life returned to normal on Tuesday in Kashmir valley after remaining crippled for a day on Monday due to a strike called by separatists against civilian killings in security force action, Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) and fresh arrest of youths in the valley.
However, business and other activities remained paralyzed in south Kashmir district of Kulgam, where a youth was killed in clashes with security forces after two two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were gunned down in an encounter on Sunday.
Shops and business establishments were 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.
Meanwhile, the main gates of Jamia Masjid, stronghold of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, which were closed on Monday, were open and devotees offered prayers in the historic mosque.
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) — comprising of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik — had called for a general strike in protest against civilian killings in security force action and CASO in the valley.
Reports of normalcy were also received from other parts of the Valley, including Baramulla, Sopore, Bandipora and Pattan in north Kashmir, where security forces remained deployed in some sensitive areas to prevent any law and order problem.
A complete shutdown was being observed in some areas in Kulgam, where shops and business establishment were closed and traffic was off the roads in protest against civilian and militant killings. Life returned to normal else in south Kashmir, including Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian.
A youth was killed and several others injured on Sunday when security forces allegedly opened fire on demonstrators during an encounter at Kulgam while another youth critically wounded in security force action on Saturday died in the hospital.