A day after Amit Shah’s normalcy claim, Valley back to shutdown

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, November 21

Shops and business establishments remained shut across Kashmir on Thursday, a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah claimed in Parliament that everything was normal in Kashmir.

The shops observed a complete shutdown in all main markets and on outskirts in the Valley. A shopkeeper in Old Srinagar said they would stick to their earlier schedule of opening in the morning only as a mark of protest against Shah’s claims.

“Our opening does not mean things are normal in Kashmir, the government is forcing us to close again,” said the shopkeeper who did not want to be named.

After the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, the restrictions and curfew were slowly eased. However, the markets opened only during early morning hours and observed a day-long shutdown.

“Today, we got a message to close the shops and from tomorrow, we will open only in the morning hours as per our earlier schedule because we are facing an uncertain situation,” said another trader from Soura Srinagar.

From the last one week, the shopkeepers had started extending the opening hours from morning to evening. But again, now the shops observed a shutdown from last two days after the “threats from some unknown groups” who told the shopkeepers to stick to their morning opening schedule only.

A senior police officer said two shops and a few carts were set on fire overnight on Wednesday in the Fateh Kadal locality and Soura in the city, forcing shopkeepers to close today. There was uncertainty on Wednesday as well after rumours spread that shopkeepers were attacked in the city.

Schools witness thin attendance

Tribune News Service
Srinagar, November 21

Schools in the Valley continued to witness thin attendance for the second day after they were thrown open after two weeks of tension in Kashmir on Monday as parents feared the safety of their children.

The Tribune team checked nearly a dozen schools in Srinagar where almost zero attendance was recorded. 

The parents said while the communication is completely blocked in Kashmir it would be difficult for them to know the safety of their children. “The school buses are not safe, what if a stone is pelted on them or the bus gets stuck in clashes. At least I won’t send my son to school yet,” said Shaheena, a mother. 

RELATED All infiltrators to be expelled by 2024, says Amit Shah