Normalcy returns

Markets, Schools Open Despite Sunday; Protests,Clashes in Langate


Srinagar, Mar 17: Normalcy was restored in Kashmir valley on Sunday after four days of shutdown due to unrelenting curfew and strikes. Authorities lifted restrictions and curfew from all parts of the Valley Sunday paving way for people to resume their daily chores.
 The government had imposed curfew in the Valley on the stroke of midnight on Tuesday last week after paramilitary CRPF men shot dead a man in Zoonimar area of the city following a Fidayeen attack on a CRPF formation in Bemina area the same day.
 Shops and business establishments remained open while public transport plied normally on all routes today. Some private schools also remained open despite Sunday, to make up for the loss of academic time due to curfew and strikes.
 After jostling between strikes and curfew, the markets in the Kashmir valley were abuzz with the people. “Curfew has been lifted from all the remaining areas of the city,” a police spokesman said.
 While authorities had relaxed curfew in most parts of the city on Saturday, restrictions continued in six police station areas as a precautionary measure.
 Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF), an apex trade body had urged shops and business establishments to remain open on Sunday. “All the markets were open today in order to provide respite to the people who had run out of eatables and other essential commodities,” said Muhammad Yaseen Khan, President KTMF.
 A large number of students were seen at bus stops in many parts of the city early this morning despite Sunday being the designated weekly off for the schools.
 Among the leading schools which opened today for classes were the several branches of Delhi Public School in Srinagar, Budgam, Baramulla and Islamabad (Anantnag) districts of the Valley.
 While parents of the students were satisfied with the decision taken by the schools, they called on the government as well as the separatists to ensure that educational institutes are not affected by the frequent strikes and curfews.
 “Education should be conflict neutral. Both the sides should think of a way out to enable the learning process to continue,” Muhammad Yousuf, whose daughter was one of the students attending school today, said.
 Mansoor Ahmad, another parent, said the students of Kashmir had suffered during the 2010 summer agitation and it should not be repeated.
 Talking to a vernacular news agency KNS Minister of School Education, Tara Chand said: “The schools which were open on Sunday took the decision of their own. As far as Govt schools are concerned we have issued directions to keep them functional as usual”.
 Meanwhile, Director School Education Kashmir, Muhammad Shafi Rather said: “We have given clear instructions to all the employees to attend their duties with punctuality.”
 He added any negligence on part of any employee would be dealt with sternly.

 Shahid Rafiq adds from Kupwara: Authorities on Sunday imposed restrictions in Langate town in frontier district of Kupwara following fresh clashes between forces and protesters.
 Witnesses told Greater Kashmir that residents of Tulwari and other adjoining villages took to the streets this morning to protest against the arrest of youth of the village during nocturnal raids.
 Protesters were demanding immediate and unconditional release of the arrested youth. Police, according to the locals, raided the Tulwari village in the dead of the night after a police officer was injured in the clashes yesterday.
 Protesters, witnesses said, were intercepted by the cops near Langate Chowk. Policemen resorted to force to quell the protesters. However, demonstrators offered stiff resistance and retaliated with stones triggering clashes which continued for quite some time in which at least four persons sustained injuries. After clashes ended authorities imposed strict restrictions in the area.
 Residents of Bunpora Langate alleged that paramilitary CRPF men went berserk and ransacked many houses.
 Meanwhile other towns of the district remained peaceful.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 17 Mar 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 17 Mar 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Mar 2013 00:00:00 IST

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