Huge Rush In Kashmir On Strike Reprieve16 October 2010
Srinagar: Everyday business resumed temporarily in Kashmir on Saturday with the government lifting curfew on a reprieve in strike given by the Hurriyat (G), though the forces resorted to aerial firing to quell protestors in Palhalan last night, while the Pampore township remained shut down at the death of a local resident who had been beaten by the police and paramilitary forces. Severe restrictions were enforced in the Palhalan area of Pattan in north Kashmir early this morning in view of angry protests last evening over the arrest of three locals by the forces. The police and the paramilitary men had opened aerial fire to quell anti-government demonstrations that followed the arrests and continued till late in the evening. The imam of the local mosque, Bilal Ahmad Rathar, had been arrested along with two others, Nisar Ahmad Ganai and Manzoor Ahmad, from the town which had recently been relieved of over three weeks of unbroken curfew. The Pampore town in south Kashmir remained shut down in protest against the death yesterday of a 55-year-old resident, Ghulam Nabi Mir, who had been seriously injured in beating by the forces seven days ago. Shops remained closed throughput the township, and traffic stayed off the roads. Elsewhere in Kashmir, markets witnessed a huge rush as shops opened after several days, and streets were clogged with traffic. Long traffic jams were witnessed at all entry points to the city of Srinagar, and the main thoroughfares were jammed with vehicles packed almost bumper-to-bumper in a slow-moving stream that was resolved only towards late afternoon. No restrictions had been placed on the streets in the old city most of which had been under curfew yesterday, and the deployment of the police and the paramilitary forces had been withdrawn. Government schools and offices remained closed on account of an official holiday, but private educational institutions were reported to have been functioning in several outlying towns.