M A I N   N E W S

Shut for 9 days, Kashmir back to normal
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, February 18
Shops reopened and other businesses resumed their operations in the Kashmir valley on Monday after remaining closed for the past nine days when the region was shut due to crippling curfews and shutdowns in the aftermath of the February 9 hanging of the 2001 Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru.

All the major markets in Srinagar city were open. The transport services from Srinagar to all districts of the valley and within the district were also back on the roads.

Universities, banks and other commercial centres also resumed operations and the inter-Kashmir train service that had been halted over the past nine days also resumed in the afternoon today, an official said.

The official said the service was resumed between central Budgam district and south Kashmir’s Qazigund town. “Normal traffic” to north Kashmir will resume on Tuesday.

The nine-day-long closure of Kashmir due to government-imposed curfews and separatist-called shutdowns had turned the valley into a ghost region as all footprints of life vanished from the streets in the aftermath of Guru’s secret hanging inside New Delhi’s Tihar jail.

The separatist shutdown, which ended on Sunday, will resume from Wednesday. Hardline Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani has called for fresh protests and shutdown.

It has also warned that the circle of protests will continue till Guru’s body, which is buried inside Tihar jail, is returned to his family.

Geelani, in a protest calendar which he issued from New Delhi, has called for protests on Tuesday evening and “civil curfews” on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Our hartals and peaceful protests will continue till the body is returned,” Geelani said while calling for protests in “every locality and every town”.

The separatist leader also called for a shutdown after 12 noon on Friday saying the next protest calendar would be issued on that evening.

Meanwhile, fresh protests broke out in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district and in the adjoining Kulgam district following which the police imposed restrictions in both the areas. A police spokesman said the restrictions were still in place in Pulwama while these were being eased in Kulgam.

Pulwama protests were reportedly triggered by the detention of several youth while the Kulgam protests were triggered by the death of a woman reportedly due to a heart attack during an Army raid.

Defence spokesman Lt Col JS Brar while reacting to the Kulgam incident denied the Army’s involvement with the woman's death.

Brief respite

Hurriyat issues protest calendar

Stir to resume on Wednesday

To continue till Afzal’s family gets his body





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