Kashmir shutdown continues for 3rd day; no restrictions, say police
Most shops and establishments in Srinagar remained closed on Friday, the third day in a row, after posters appeared in several places on Wednesday ordering that all shops and establishments remain closed, and that no buses ply.
Local police said no restrictions were imposed on Friday but no prayers were held around Jamia Masjid at Nawhatta.
Prominent markets and businesses were closed in the city centre, Lal Chowk and surrounding areas on Friday. Petrol pumps were also closed at many places. Even public transport, which plied Thursday, was off the roads although cabs and private vehicles remained on the roads.
“Everything was closed ;not even mini buses were plying. Like yesterday, people again observed a shutdown but it was more prominent today,” said Danish Ahmad, a resident of the city.
Superintendent of police, north city, Sajad Shah said that the situation remained peaceful.
“There was no namaz at Jamia Masjid because they decided it on their own, otherwise the mosque was open. There were no restrictions,” he said.
However, a spokesman for the mosque said that security forces were deployed around the mosque which is why people did not go towards the mosque. “It has been our demand that security forces deployed around the mosque should be removed and chairman of Auqaf, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq be released. When there is a peaceful atmosphere only then prayers can be held,” he said. Prayers have not been held at the mosque for the past 16 weeks.
On Wednesday, responding to questions raised by the leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Home Minister, Amit Shah said that the situation in Kashmir is improving, offices and businesses are open.
“There is no shortage of medicine, food or fuel and no single person has died in police firing after August 5.’’
On the internet shutdown, Home Minister said that services would resume on the recommendation of local administration.
On August 5, Parliament passed laws and resolutions to split the erstwhile state into two union territories and also end its special status.