Barring Kulgam, life returns to normal in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Feb 25: Life returned to normal on Monday in Kashmir valley after remaining crippled for a day on Sunday due to a strike called by separatists against mass arrest of separatists and Jamaat-e-Islami leaders in the valley.
Meanwhile, restrictions imposed in Shehar-e-Khas (SeK) and downtown Srinagar on Sunday following the strike called by separatists, were also lifted on Monday.
However, business and other activities remained paralyzed in south Kashmir district of Kulgam, where three militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) were killed by security forces in an encounter on Sunday. A Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy SP) and an Army soldier were also killed in the encounter.
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 the valley.
All the shops reopened early on Monday morning 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 main gates of Jamia Masjid, stronghold of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, which were closed on Sunday, 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 on Sunday against mass arrest of separatists and Jamaat-e-Islami leaders 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.
Even though there was no strike called by any separatist group, a complete shutdown was being observed in Kulgam, where shops and business establishment were closed and traffic was off the roads in protest against the militant killings. Mobile internet service also remained suspended as a precautionary measure to prevent spread of rumours in the Kulgam, where work in government offices and banks was also affected due to the strike.
But, life returned to normal else in south Kashmir, including Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian.