Barring south Kashmir, life returns to normal in Valley

Barring south Kashmir, life returns to normal in Valley
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Srinagar, Dec 18: Barring south Kashmir, life returned to normal on Tuesday in the valley after remaining crippled for two days due strike called by separatists against the killing of seven civilians in clashes with security forces in Pulwama on Saturday. A police official said that there were no restrictions in any part of the valley though security forces remained deployed in strength to maintain law and order in sensitive areas, particularly south Kashmir.
Curfew-like restrictions, which were imposed for two days till Monday in downtown, parts of civil lines in Srinagar, besides Pulwama main town and adjoining areas as a precautionary measure, were lifted on Tuesday.
Shops and business establishments reopened and traffic on all routes was plying normally in summer capital, Srinagar, and other major towns and tehsil headquarters in central and north Kashmir, where train service resumed after remaining suspended for three days for security reasons.
However, train service remained suspended for the fourth successive day on Tuesday for security reasons on Srinagar-Banahil route via south Kashmir.
Classes remained suspended on Tuesday in all colleges and universities in the valley as a precautionary measure to prevent protests against the civilian killings.
All the shops reopened 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 downtown and uptown, where shops and business establishments reopened after two-day-long strike till Monday. Security force and state police personnel deployed in the Jamia Market in downtown to prevent people from entering the worship place have been withdrawn and shops have reopened early this morning in the area.
Reports of normalcy were also received from other parts of the Valley, including Baramulla, Sopore, Bandipora and Pattan in north Kashmir.
However, life remained crippled in majority of the places in south Kashmir, were seven civilians were killed in clashes which were triggered after an encounter ensued between militants and security forces that left three ultras dead on Saturday. An Army jawan was also killed in the encounter.
Even though restrictions have been lifted in Pulwama, shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads in the district. The situation was no different in other south Kashmir districts, including Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopain, where business and other activities remained crippled for the third successive day.
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) had called for a three-day strike against Pulwama killings from Saturday. The JRL had urged people to march towards Badami Bagh, the headquarters of 15 Corps at Sonawar on Monday. However, the authorities foiled the march by sealing all roads leading to Badami Bagh area.