Shops in Srinagar open, normal life remains disrupted

An elderly man attempts to cross through a blockade during restrictions after the abrogration of Article 370 and bifurcation of State, in Srinagar. (PTI Photo)

Some shops in the city opened in the morning hours on Wednesday but main markets and other business establishments across the Kashmir Valley remained shut for the 59th consecutive day.

Normal life in the valley has been disrupted following the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5.

Mobile services remained suspended in Kashmir except in Handwara and Kupwara areas in the north, while Internet services -- across all platforms – continued to be snapped in the valley, officials said.

They said there are apprehensions that mobile and Internet services could be misused by anti-national elements to fuel violence in the valley.

The decision on restoring the services would be taken at an appropriate time after assessing the situation, they added.

The officials said there were no restrictions anywhere in the valley, but security forces were deployed in strength in vulnerable areas to maintain law and order.

Main markets and other business establishments across the valley remained shut on Wednesday. Some shops in the city here opened from 7:30 to 10:30 in the morning over the last few weeks, but extended the duration till 11 on Wednesday, the officials said.

Public transport was off the roads for the 59th consecutive day, they said.

However, private cars were plying in many areas and few inter-district cabs and auto-rickshaws were seen plying in some areas of the city, they added.

Most of the top-level and second-rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders, including two former chief ministers -- Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been either detained or placed under house arrest.

Another former chief minister and sitting Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah has been arrested under the controversial Public Safety Act.

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