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Life returns to normal in Kashmir

Barring Shopian district town in South Kashmir, life returned to normal across Kashmir Valley today after hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference decided not to call for a strike.

india Updated: Oct 11, 2010 15:40 IST

Barring Shopian district town in South Kashmir, life returned to normal across Kashmir Valley on Monday after hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference decided not to call for a strike.

Shops and business establishments reopened this morning in Srinagar and other major towns of the Valley excluding Shopian district town, 52 kms from Srinagar, where authorities imposed curfew as a precautionary measure, officials said.

They said curfew was promulgated in Shopian town as authorities apprehended a law and order problem after four locals were booked under the Public Safety Act on Sunday.

A group of youth had pelted stones on the Deputy Commissioner's office in Shopian town last evening. However, the stone pelters were chased away by police.

Srinagar and other major towns were abuzz with activities with public and private transport plying on the roads and all educational institutions, private offices, government offices, banks and courts opening.

However, huge traffic snarls in the city led to chaotic scenes with traffic policemen struggling to ensure smooth movement of vehicles.

Massive traffic jams were witnessed during rush hours in almost the entire city including Batmaloo, Qammerwari, bypass, Lal chowk, Pantha chowk and Parimpora, which are transit areas between north and south Kashmir areas.

A huge rush was also seen at banks and ATMs across the Valley.

A police spokesman said the situation across the Kashmir Valley was peaceful.

"The situation at this hour is normal and under control throughout the Valley," the spokesman said.

However, official source said some stray incidents of violence were reported.

Protestors had blocked Natipora-Nowgam road in uptown Srinagar this morning against the arrest of some local youth on the charge of stone-pelting by police.

The protestors, mostly women, blocked the road at Naikbagh, Budshah Nagar and Nowgam simultaneously this morning in support of the demand for release of the arrested youth, the sources said.

A brief clash also took place between the protestors and the police as the latter tried to chase away protestors and reopen the road for traffic, the sources said, adding none was hurt in the incident.

Meanwhile, the police spokesman dismissed rumours that 65-year-old Shabir Ahmad Chicken, a resident of Sarnal Payeen, died in clashes between protestors and law-enforcing agencies in Anantnag district town of South Kashmir on Sunday evening.

"Chicken was suffering from heart ailment and had undergone surgery in this regard. He had also gone through kidney transplant as well," he said, adding the elderly man died due to illness.

Kashmir Valley has been in the grip of violent protests since June 11 when a 17-year-old boy was killed after he was hit by a tear smoke shell during clashes at Rajouri Kadal in the interior city. So far, 105 persons have been killed in the unrest in the Valley.