Valley gets a breather

It was business as usual in Kashmir on Saturday after 133 days of protests and strikes following the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani in July, with the separatists announcing a relaxation for the weekend.
Post-paid internet and customary activities resumed early in the morning as people took advantage of the relaxation offered by the separatists, who'd been petitioned by transporters' associations to ease the situation that was resulting in hardships due to financial losses.
All schools and educational institutions opened after four months -a period that also witnessed burning of over 30 schools by rioting mobs across the valley . Shops and business establishments in major markets, including Lal Chowk and Residency Road, buzzed with customers. Traffic snarls affected various parts of Srinagar city . The day was peaceful, police said. A senior separatist said, “The joint resistance group decided to call off the shutdown for two days at the request of public transporters who desperately need to earn their livelihood.“
Public transport, withdrawn for the last four months, was back even as the traffic police had a tough job manning the sudden rush of vehicles.
SSP (traffic) Fayaz Ahmad said police had made announcements about different routes for light and heavy vehicles on Friday itself to avoid jams on Saturday and Sunday . Authorities had also removed security forces from all the areas of the valley, including central Srinagar.
The separatists' protest weekly calendar has called for a complete shut down on Monday and Tuesday again, although there will be relaxation from 4pm on Wednesday and Thursday . After Friday night's lifting of the four-month-long ban on mobile internet for postpaid subscribers, IGP (Kashmir range) Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gilani said, “With the passage of time, services will be restored on prepaid mobiles also.“ Attendance in schools and colleges, however, was thin.While authorities attributed it to the cold weather, parents feared stone-pelter attacks on school buses and students. Altaf Ahmad of Ganderbal said: “I did not allow my two children to go to school as I apprehended trouble.“

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