Barring parts of Pulwama, life returns to normal in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Mar 21: Life returned to normal on Thursday in Kashmir valley after remaining crippled due to a day-long strike called by separatists against the custodial death of a private school principal Rizwan Asad Pandit on March 19.
Curfew-like restrictions imposed in Shehar-e-Khas (SeK) and downtown Srinagar for security reasons on Wednesday was also lifted on Thursday.
However, business and other activities remained crippled for the second successive day in Awantipora, which is the native place of Pandit, and adjoining areas in south Kashmir district of Pulwama against the custodial death.
A police official said that there were no restrictions in any part of the valley, where security forces deployed in strength across on Wednesday have also been withdrawn.
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 Kashmir. Some routes in uptown Srinagar witnessed heavy traffic jam.
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 downtown and uptown, where shops and business establishments reopened on Thursday after day-long strike.
All the gates of historic Jamia Masjid, stronghold of moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, have been reopened for worshipers on Thursday after remaining closed on Wednesday. Security force and state police personnel deployed in the Jamia Market in downtown to prevent people from entering the worship place on Tuesday have been withdrawn and shops have reopened early this morning in the area.
Business and other activities also resumed in the twin central Kashmir districts of Budgam and Ganderbal.
Reports of normalcy were also received from other parts of the Valley, including Baramulla, Sopore, Bandipora and Pattan in north and Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian in south Kashmir.
However, shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads in Awantipora and adjoining areas in Pulwama to protest against the custodial death of the principal. But, elsewhere in Pulwama life has returned to normal.