Kashmir Unrest: Shutdown continues on 123rd day

Srinagar: A government school was set ablaze by unidentified persons in Handwara area of Kupwara district as shutdown entered day 123 in Kashmir as part of ongoing mass uprising.

Most of the shops, commercial establishments, educational institutes and other offices were closed across the Srinagar. Heavy movement of private vehicles, auto-rickshaws and passenger cabs’ as well pedestrians was seen in civil line and uptown areas of the city. Hundreds of vendors had set up their stalls in Lal Chowk area and large numbers of shoppers were also seen buying winter garments.

In Old City, hundreds of forces men were deployed in five police station areas of Srinagar’s Old City – MR Gunj, Nowhatta, Safa Kadal, Rainwari and Khanyar – since early morning. There was however civilian movement without any disruption in all these areas. Private vehicles could also been seen plying in good numbers but the vendors were invisible.

Stone-throwing clashes erupted at Nowhatta area of Old City in the evening hours. Police resorted to teargas shelling and chased away the youths. There was no however injury to no one. The situation in the area later returned to normal. Police said that other areas of the Old City remained peaceful. An incident of stone-pelting also erupted at Hyderpora area on city outskirts this evening. Police fired few pepper and teargas shells to disperse the youths pelting stones.

Meanwhile, reports of shutdown were also received from other districts of the Valley. According to reports, clashes erupted at Kareemabad area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district after forces tried to launch search and cordon operation. Police said the miscreants set on fire Government Middle School Building Badrah Payeen in Handwara last evening.

“The building was partially damaged in the incident. Police has registered a case and miscreants involved in the incident are being identified,” said a police spokesman. Detailing Valley’s situation, he said: “During the day, no untoward incident was reported from any part of the valley. Shops and other business establishments were open in most parts of valley while transport plied normally on all routes.”

In order to thwart away any untoward incident hampering the normal life and free flow of traffic, police continued with its adequate security deployments on some vulnerable point in the valley, the police spokesman added. (GNS)