The longest period of curfew in Kashmir came to an end on Monday after a 51-day lockdown. The valley which witnessed a series of violent protests after Hizbul Mujahideen commander’s Burhan Wani death claimed the lives of more than 70 people and left around 11,000 people injured.

“Following an improvement in the situation, there will be no restrictions in Kashmir Valley from tomorrow except Pulwama and the areas falling under the jurisdictions of Police Station M R Gunj and Police Station Nowhatta,” a police spokesman on Sunday evening.

However, restrictions under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code or CrPC will remain enforced which prohibits unlawful assembly of 10 or more people.

Minor traffic jams were seen along the Rambagh-Jawahar Nagar-Rajbagh axis leading to the commercial hub of Lal Chowk due to the increased movement of private vehicles. The attendance in government offices also showed an upward trend with a majority of the employees reporting for work.

Banks were also open and witnessed a massive rush of customers as soon as they opened. However, schools, colleges and other educational institutions and shops remained closed due to the strike called by separatists groups who have asked people to lock down all government offices, except essential services on Monday.

b’A security personnel stands guard during the curfew | Source: PTI’

“Except for essential services, lock down all government offices and don’t allow movement of any employee towards these offices for joining,” the separatists said in their weekly protest programme. 

Meanwhile, mobile internet continued to remain suspended in the entire Valley, where the outgoing facility on prepaid mobiles remained barred. 

The development comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Kashmir issue in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’. 

On Saturday, Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti met the Prime Minister and sought the creation of an institutional mechanism of interlocutors to talk to all stakeholders in Kashmir to carry forward former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s policy of a dialogue internally as well as with Pakistan. 

(Feature image source: PTI)

(With inputs from PTI)