Day 50 of Kashmir siege: Shops, businesses shut in Valley; Section 144 in some areas

Deccan Chronicle.  | Yusuf Jameel

Nation, Current Affairs

Restrictions under Section 144 were in force in only a few pockets of Srinagar to maintain law and order, witnesses said.

An elderly man sits as Indian paramilitary trooper stands guard in front of closed shops during a lockdown in Srinagar on Monday. (AFP)

Srinagar: Normal life remained paralysed in the Kashmir Valley as a stalemate over the Centre’s stripping Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and the splitting of the state into two Union Territories (UTs) entered its 50th day on Monday.

Restrictions under Section 144 were in force in only a few pockets of Srinagar to maintain law and order, witnesses said. Officials said that only security forces in large numbers patrolled the streets of J&K’s summer capital and other towns. No major incident of violence was reported from anywhere.

Shops and other businesses remained shut in the Valley even though some markets, mainly in Srinagar, were open for a few hours in the morning “to enable people to buy eatables and other essential commodities”. Street vendors could be seen doing fairly good business in several parts of Srinagar. Public transport remained off the roads but increased movement of private cars and other vehicles was discernible in not only Srinagar but also several other parts of the Valley.

The situation in Jammu and Ladakh regions was normal.

Restrictions were first imposed in J&K, beside Leh district and parts Jammu, on August 5 when the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcate J&K. The restrictions were lifted in phases from the Jammu region and many parts of Kashmir but were re-imposed in Srinagar and some other vulnerable parts of the Valley “as and when required to maintain law and order”, mainly on Fridays. Internet services have remained suspended across all platforms. While landlines are functional now, voice calls on mobile devices are working only in a few pockets of the border district of Kupwara.

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