Barring Srinagar parts, life returns to normal in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Oct 19: Barring parts of Srinagar, life returned to normal on Friday as shops and business establishments reopened and traffic was plying normally on all roads in Kashmir valley after remaining crippled for a day due to strike called by separatists.
Curfew-like restrictions remained imposed for the second successive day in the downtown, Shehar-e-Khas (SeK) and parts of civil lines in Srinagar as a precautionary measure to prevent protests after Friday prayers.
Shops and business establishments are doing normal business and traffic on all routes was plying normally in restriction-free areas in the summer capital, Srinagar, and other major towns and tehsil headquarters in the valley, where train service resumed after remaining suspended for a day due to security reasons.
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 Thursday.
However, hundreds of police and security force personnel, wearing bulletproof jackets and holding automatic weapons, were seen patrolling in downtown, SeK and parts of civil lines in Srinagar to strictly implement the restrictions. All gates of historic Jamia Masjid, where no Friday prayers could be offered since last week, remained closed since Thursday. A large number of security forces and state police personnel remained deployed in the Jamia market and nearby areas to prevent anybody from entering the worship place.
Reports of normalcy were also received from other parts of the Valley, including Baramulla, Sopore, Bandipora and Pattan in north Kashmir and Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian in south Kashmir.
But, security forces remained deployed in some sensitive areas, particularly in Baramulla, who two militants were killed in a brief exchange of fire with security forces on Friday afternoon, to prevent any law and order problem.
Business and other activities also resumed in the twin central Kashmir districts of Budgam and Ganderbal.
Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq and Mohammad Yaseen Malik, have urged people to hold protest after Friday prayers against civilian killings, besides raids, arrests of youths. The separatists had on Thursday called for a general strike.