Normal life resumed in Kashmir on Sunday afternoon as the shutdown call given by separatists ended at 5 pm. Most shops, business establishments opened in the evening and public transport plied on the roads.
The All Parties Hurriyat Conference, led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, had issued a new protest calendar last week asking people to resume normal life in the afternoon on Sunday and for two days in the commencing week.
Kashmir on Sunday entered into 78th day of civil strife triggered by the killing of 17-year-old boy by the police. Since then more than 63 people were left dead in 58 days of violent street protests and 53 days of curfews.
"My daughter's wedding is next month. Such a protest calendar helps people to shop in the evening for marriages, upcoming Eid," said Nuzhat Jahan, while shopping at MS Mall in Srinagar.
Many doctors and private clinics have also asked patients to fix appointments after 5 pm according to the protest calendar.
"Labourers, street vendors and shopkeepers can earn their livelihood after 5 pm till late in the night. The move will help us to make the two ends meet," said Rashid Ahmad, who sells apple on a cart in Lal Chowk.
Situation across the valley remained peaceful except a stray pelting incident at Habba Kadal, Chota Bazar in Srinagar and Palhallan, in Baramulla.
A police spokesman, however, claimed to have arrested five persons in Handwara. "These people were part of a group of miscreants intimidating shopkeepers in the town who resumed the business activities before 5 pm. The miscreants beat up many of the shop keepers while ransacking a few of the shops," said the spokesman.
Among the arrested are Ghulam Mustafa, an employee with the Fisheries department, Waseem Hassan Banday and Mushtaq Ahmed Banday, both forest guards and a couple of students - Saleem Yousuf Banday and Manzoor Ahmad Banday.