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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Weather, politics set to shake Kashmir

Ashiq Hussain, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, February 22, 2013
First Published: 19:56 IST(22/2/2013) | Last Updated: 00:46 IST(23/2/2013)

For the coming week, Kashmir is all set to be hit by a collage of storms, political as well as environmental, experts predicted on Friday.

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Going by the forecast of weatherman and political pundits, the two forces will be unleashing themselves on the people of valley till February 28.

Friday ended with a spell of rain and snow reaching as high as 24 mm on the scale blocking Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only road link of the Himalayan region with rest of the country. Hundreds of vehicles carrying supplies and commuters remained stranded on the 300-km road.

In the plains, the residents of Srinagar and other major towns were forced to remain indoors by security forces fearing protests on the third day of separatist sponsored shutdown over demands for return of Afzal Guru’s mortal remains. Guru, a Sopore resident, was executed and buried in Tihar jail on February 09 for his role in Parliament attack. Since then, Kashmir has been restive amid eight days of curfew and five days of strike.

After three days of continuous shutdown, separatists have asked people to resume normal work from Saturday for three days (up-to Feb 25). But weatherman has cautioned of the approaching western disturbances, the first one of which has already struck the state.

“Rain and moderate snowfall would occur at many places over the state on Saturday as well,” an official of MeT office in Srinagar said.
 
Kashmir’s Divisional Commissioner, Asgar Samoon quoting weather officials informed of another western disturbance, likely to affect the state on February 27 and 28.

“Weather is likely to deteriorate, moderate rain and snowfall will occur at wide spread places of Kashmir division especially areas of district Anantnag, Baramulla, Bandipora, Kupwara and Drass Sector and at few places of Ladakh region,” he said.

The administration advised people to avoid movement during snowfall and not to venture into steep avalanche-prone slopes.

Meanwhile Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani, who is under house arrest in New Delhi,  asked people to open their shops and businesses from tommorrow. The amalgam will announce another program against the hanging of Afzal Guru on Monday evening.  Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front has already given a protest call for next Friday.


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