Restrictions further eased in Valley

Students stay away from schools

A Kashmiri woman walks past a blockade put up by residents to prevent security forces from entering their neighborhood during restrictions, in Srinagar. (Reuters Photo)

Despite authorities easing restrictions on the movement of the public in most parts of Kashmir on Wednesday, an uneasy calm prevails in the Valley with security forces continue to remain deployed in sensitive areas of Srinagar and elsewhere.

Like Tuesday, authorities eased up restrictions insensitive area of the old city, including Khanyar, Nowhatta and Rainawari, following which the movement of private vehicles picked up in these areas. However, most of the shops in these areas remained shut for the 17th consecutive day. 

Deployment of additional security forces remained intact and barricades were in place in most parts of the Valley.

However, barricades at the historic clock tower in city centre Lal Chowk, which was out of bounds for people for two weeks, were removed on Tuesday. From August 5, roads, including alleys in the city centre leading to the historically significant clock tower, were completely sealed with concertina wires and other barricades. 

Like the previous two days, students stayed away from schools on Wednesday though teachers were reporting back to their duties in the educational institutions up to middle level. Authorities ordered reopening of schools up to primary level from Monday and middle level from Wednesday.

The communication clampdown, which was imposed on August 4 night continues to remain in force with mobile connectivity and internet services snapped. The steps were taken as there was an apprehension of large-scale violence against New Delhi’s decision to scrap Article 370 and reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir state into two Union Territories. 

Hundreds of people, including former chief minister Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, continue to remain in custody with reports of more arrests by the police pouring in from several areas of Kashmir.

State police chief Dilbagh Singh said the situation in Kashmir was limping back to normalcy gradually and people are fully cooperating with law enforcing agencies.

“Situation in Valley is limping back to normalcy and people are fully cooperating. We are thankful to them for their cooperation in maintaining law and order,” he was quoted by a local news agency as having said.

On the reopening of schools, Singh said, “The attendance of students is encouraging and I am sure in coming days it will increase as parents are worried about the education of their children.”

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