Jammu and Kashmir calm, curfew relaxed

August 19th, 2008 - 3:53 pm ICT by ANI  

Amarnath Shrine

Jammu/Srinagar, Aug 19 (ANI): The situation in Jammu region is improving on Tuesday and curfew was relaxed at the varying periods in Jammu, Samba, Udhampur and Kishtwar districts. Kashmir is calm following a coordination committees decision to suspend its strike for three days.
Curfew was relaxed in Jammu city from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. whereas in Samba it was relaxed for nine hours. It was eased for 17 hours from 5:00 a.m. in Udhampur, while Kishtwar town has been given respite for three hours from 7:00 a.m.
Meanwhile, the three-day ””jail bharo andolan”” called by the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti (SASS) entered its second day today.
On its first day on Monday, thousands of protesters led by the Samiti leaders courted arrest after demonstrating outside police stations across Jammu, while demanding restoration of 100 acres of forestland to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).
The BJP has also decided to intensify its campaign for the restoration of the forestland. Leader of Opposition L K Advani and the BJP president Rajnath Singh will attend a rally in Jammu on August 25, party sources said.
Meanwhile, Kashmir is limping back to normalcy as schools, shops and business establishments opened today following the decision to call off a shutdown till Friday.
“It is looking like normal today. I wish it should be like this now. After 16-17 days of shutdown, things are returning to normalcy. I appeal to the people to maintain this atmosphere,” said Mehraj Kahn, a vendor.
Locals heaved a sigh of relief and thronged the market area to buy essential items. People were seen busy rushing to offices.
“Today after 10-15 days, things are returning to normalcy. Shopkeepers have opened their shops and are cleaning the shops. If God”’’s will, things would be normal now,” said Shabir, a local.
Normal traffic resumed in Srinagar as well as in the other parts of the valley with locals hoping that normalcy would continue.
“It”’’s good. Schools were closed for long, Childrens studies were affected. Now, the schools have opened we hope the situation remains normal here,” said Wasim Raja, another local.
The separatists who had launched an agitation on August 11 to protest against the alleged ””economic”” blockade”” of the valley have decided to suspend the shutdown to ease the discomfort to the locals who have been badly hit by the call.
However, the State Government has denied it saying said that thesupplies to and from the state, especially the Kashmir valley have been maintained despite the protests and violence in Jammu region over the controversy.
The dispute began after the State Government promised to give forest land to the Shri Amarnath shrine Board. Many Muslims were enraged. The Government then rescinded its decision, which in turn angered Hindus in Jammu who attacked lorries carrying supplies to Kashmir Valley. (ANI)

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