Markets remain open till noon, transport movement improves in Kashmir

A semblance of normalcy greeted Srinagar valley on Tuesday with shopkeepers opening their shops in morning and doing brisk business till noon with a huge rush of people thronging the market amid near-normal public transport operations.

The shopkeepers, however, downed their shutters in the afternoon to join a protest against the neutralisation of Article 370 and revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, said officials.

The officials said several areas of the city witnessed a huge rush as people thronged markets which remained open till noon.

Most modes of public transport plied on Tuesday as intra-district and inter-district connectivity increased, they added.

The Valley had been witnessing a semblance of normalcy during the last few weeks after the protest shutdowns of markets since nullification of Article 370 on August 5.

But with a sudden spate of posters threatening shopkeepers and transporters appearing last Wednesday, the Valley again slipped back to subjugation amid the forced shutdown.

The pre-paid mobile phones and all internet services continued to remain suspended since 5 August when the Centre announced the decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories.

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.

The government has detained former chief minister and sitting Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah under the controversial Public Safety Act, a law enacted by his father and National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1978 when he was the chief minister.