Day 18: No commercial activity despite minimal relaxation

MAJID NABI. Dated: 8/23/2019 2:37:11 AM

Mobile, internet service remain suspended in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, Aug 22: With relaxation in prohibitory orders in several areas of Srinagar city and north Kashmir in place, normal life in rest of the valley remained out of gear on the eighteenth straight day today amidst reports of protest and stone pelting.
Reports and witnesses said that a youth who was critically injured after being allegedly hit with pellets at Fateh Kadal area of old city has been put on ventilator. He was reportedly injured during clashes between youth and government forces in the area on Tuesday evening.
While commercial activities continued to remain suspended in restive valley, few shops were partially opened at Civil Lines and uptown areas of Srinagar with thin movement of private vehicles on roads.
Although the government claimed to have restored 73,000 landline connections across Jammu and Kashmir, the administration seemingly has no immediate plans to restore mobile phone and pocket internet service given administration’s silence on repeated queries whether these services will be restored or not.
It is pertinent to mention that the valley was left incommunicado a day before the bill scrapping Article 35A was introduced in the Parliament by Union government earlier this month on August 5.
All the modes of communication including landlines, mobile phones, broadband and internet services were suspended in the valley on August 4 in Kashmir.
Barring few government schools, educational institutions up to the primary and middle level schools remained closed in Srinagar on fourth straight day today while nominal attendance of teachers and other staff was recorded in the schools that have been opened.
Top mainstream and separatist leaders who were either arrested or placed under house detention are yet to be released. Three former Chief Ministers including NC President Dr Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti continue to be under preventive custody since August 4.
Peoples Conference Chairman, Sajjad Gani Lone, who was also a cabinet Minister in Mehbooba Mufti led PDP-BJP alliance was also taken to preventive custody at a makeshift detention centre here.
Meanwhile reports of clashes were received from several areas of Srinagar city. Clashes, as per reports, erupted when deployment of forces is lifted in the evening.
Reports of clashes between youth and deployed forces were also received from other parts of the old city and uptown localities of Srinagar.
Witnesses said that most of the areas in old city wherein restrictions remained in force continued to be under strict siege with additional companies of paramilitary forces deployed in strength to maintain law and order.
Official sources said that administration may not allow Friday congregational prayers at historic Jama Masjid Old City today, given the present law and order situation in Srinagar and elsewhere. On the other hand, CRPF was redeployed at Residency Road two days after the government lifted curbs at city centre Lal Chowk.
Reports reaching from north Kashmir suggested that restrictions continued to be in place at frontier Kupwara, Bandipora and Baramulla districts. However, partial movement of people and private vehicles was seen in Handwara district wherein restrictions have been eased.



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