DAY 66: SHUTDOWN CONTINUES AMID TELECOM BLACKOUT

Kashmir valley continues to reel under uncertain situation as shutdown entered into 66th day today with public transport off the roads and markets shut amid communication blackout.
The government of India abrogated Articles 370 and 35A of the constitution and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories after passing a bill in the Parliament on August 5.
Administration’s order to open educational institutions including schools, colleges and universities proved out to be an unviable proposition as students choose to stay away from classes although the educational institutions were open across valley and staff present.

Business activities continued to remain shut in restive Kashmir; however some shops at civil line and uptown localities open in two shifts from 6 to 9 in morning and 6 to 9 in the evening.
Sources in the administration said there would be partial restrictions in parts of old city today while congregational prayers will not be allowed at historic Jamia Masjid on 10th running week as a precautionary measure to thwart post Friday protests in the vicinity.

Public transport remained off the streets; however an increased movement of private vehicles could be seen on roads. City’s flea market locally known as Sunday market at Residency Road also witnesses considerable rush of people purchasing clothes and other items for approaching winter.
Communication system which was snapped on August 4 midnight hours before abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir continued to remain in force on day 66 with administration seemingly indecisive whether to restore it in coming time or not.

The continuous suspension of communication including mobile calling service, mobile and broadband internet has created difficulties beyond imagination for the people in Kashmir as two months elapsed government is yet to take any decision in this regard.

Banihal-Baramullah rail service also remained suspended in the wake of uncertain situation which arise in the valley after August 5. Even as the administration claimed to have lifted restrictions from everywhere, roads in old city and other sensitive pockets of Srinagar are still dotted with police and paramilitary forces.
While roads in most parts of civil lines and uptown localities have been freed from barricades, some interiors in old city are still sealed with spools of concertina wire amid thick deployment of police and CRPF.