Free of shutdowns and curfew, Valley returns to normal

November 9th, 2010 - 3:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Srinagar, Nov 9 (IANS) Life returned to normal in summer capital Srinagar and all other towns of the Kashmir Valley Tuesday. The markets bustled with shoppers and public and private transport plied normally as no curfew restrictions were imposed and the separatists too did not call for a shutdown.

Students in all educational institutions, colleges and universities joined their classes while students of Class 8 took their examinations in various centres across the Valley Tuesday.

No curfew or restrictions were imposed by the authorities anywhere and the separatists also appealed to people to resume normalcy.

Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani has finally toned down his protest shutdown calendar. In his protest calendar issued last week, Geelani called for only three days of protest shutdown up to Nov 20.

Although he had called for a civil curfew during the visit of US President Barack Obama, the response to his complete shutdown call was lukewarm across the Valley. He had welcomed US President Barack Obama’s remarks that Kashmir was a longstanding dispute which needed to be resolved by India and Pakistan.

Shops, other businesses, educational institutions, banks, post offices and public transport functioned normally in Srinagar city and other towns of the Valley Tuesday.

“The difference in normalcy today and in the past is that this is real normalcy, not the one which was granted to the people by the authorities and the separatists during the last four months,” said a shopkeeper in Residency Road area of Srinagar.

During the last four months, the separatists had continued an unending series of shutdowns and protests which would prompt authorities to clamp curfews and restrictions to prevent violence.

At least 110 people lost their lives in clashes between the security forces and the protesters during the over four-month-long unrest here.

Significantly, traffic Tuesday moved without hiccups on the Srinagar city roads which had often remained jammed because of heavy traffic during the few days when the separatists called for normalcy in the last four months.

The response to the separatist shutdowns has started to gradually come down in the last one month as violence dropped appreciably in the Valley.

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